Vehicle Modifications: Useful Considerations for Life Care Planners*
Most people with catastrophic injuries or complex health care needs that impact mobility will require specialized transportation adaptations. The needs range from minor modifications to very high tech and custom designed modified vehicles. This chapter focuses on a case study which outlines some of the basic issues associated with life care planning and transportation needs, with special emphasis on why some modified vehicles are very expensive to produce. The Veterans Administration (VA) originally was the sole funding source for early vehicle modifications and they, along with some state vocational rehabilitation agencies, began to develop safety guidelines as early as 1972. The higher cost of a structurally modified van relates in part to the amount of time that engineers and mechanics spend on design requirements. According to USA Today, the cost of an average vehicle is approaching $34,000. There is a wide variety of modifications that are available to a driver or passenger. Therefore, costs will vary depending on need.