How Disabled People Can Benefit from Self-Driving Cars
Self-driving cars are just one example of science fiction becoming science fact in the 21st century. For many people, self-driving cars are tempting, for a few reasons. They could allow you to work during your commute, for example, or talk on your phone without worrying about distracted driving.
In particular, some have noted how much this technology could improve the lives of disabled people. Those with handicaps can benefit from self-driving technology in a number of ways, not the least of which are independence and freedom of movement. Here are a few ways you may not have thought about.
Disabilities That Currently Make It Impossible to Drive Won’t Factor into Driving
Some disabilities require people to rely upon drivers for their transportation, even if they’re otherwise healthy. Blind people, for example, may have learned to walk and take public transportation with the benefit of certain assistive devices. And many people with limited walking ability can use wheelchairs and powered chairs to get around. However, when it comes to driving, these folks are usually dependent upon others to get them where they need to go.
With self-driving cars, handicapped people won’t have to spend money on taxis or rideshares to explore the world. Instead, they can use their own cars (which, hopefully soon, will become more affordable, thus offering real savings on transportation). When disabled people are able to get to appointments, events, and meetings more easily, it makes it easier for them to integrate into the community.
Partially Housebound People Can More Effectively Enjoy the World
While some disabilities are primarily physical, allowing for easily created assistive devices, others are much more complicated. Many chronic illnesses make it difficult for people to walk, travel, or sometimes even get out of bed. These people may only be able to take public transportation for a limited amount of the time, or not at all, requiring them to rely entirely upon drivers to go even short distances. Whether physical, mental, or a combination of the two, these disabilities can be extremely taxing on both someone’s mental well-being and his or her wallet.
Self-driving cars can help these people in a number of ways. For example, people with fatigue illnesses can rest while their car takes them to and from appointments and events. So, they’ll arrive rested and get the rest they need afterward. People with joint issues who can’t walk very far won’t have to choose between staying home to tend to their condition or going out to see a movie.
Technology in General Can Flourish
The technology behind self-driving cars is just one example of how the world is being impacted by large technological breakthroughs, many of which can be adapted as assistive devices. People around the world can soon rely upon self-driving chairs for transportation. This opens up their world in ways they may never have imagined, much like computer-generated voices have allowed individuals such as Stephen Hawking and others to speak, even if they can’t do it organically.
There are also technologies that create safer interactions for disabled people, such as PeopleFinders. If a person has limited time, energy, or ability to navigate the world, researching people they don’t know can be exhausting. Instead of trying to request records, do dozens of internet searches, or just taking people’s word on things, disabled people can instead run a quick people search on new neighbors and group members. Many disabled people have been taken advantage of because they’ve had to accept people on faith alone, and these types of technologies can cut down on that.
Handicapped people make up a fair portion of the world’s population. While there have always been some sort of assistive devices to help them navigate the world, self-driving cars present a brand new way for disabled people to enjoy their lives more, both in a physical and emotional sense. For them, it’s truly a brave new world.
Whether you’re disabled yourself, you help care for a disabled person, or you just know disabled people who could protect themselves better, you can use PeopleFinders in your daily life. For more information on safety, technology and other related topics, be sure to check out the rest of the PeopleFinders blog.
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