Wednesday, June 21, 2006


The Driving Thing

So, I went in for a driving evaluation, which is the first step towards driver training. Yes, it appears that I get to go back to Driver's Ed. The car even has those yellow "driver's education" stickers on it. I had no idea that I was actually going to drive yesterday.

The evaluation consisted mostly of eye, coordination, strength, balance, and observation tests. At the beginning, the OT who was conducting the evaluation told me that she would take me for a ride and that she was going to drive so that I could see how the hand controls worked. On the way to the car she asked me if I would be comfortable driving. She drove us to an empty parking lot behind Glendale Mall and then had me slide into the driver's seat.

There is a lever on the left side of the steering wheel (just underneath the turn signal) that controls braking and acceleration and a knob on the steering wheel to allow me to turn the car with only one hand. To brake you push the lever forward and pull it back to accelerate. This seems backwards to me so I did have a slight tendency to confuse the two. However, after about fifteen minutes of driving back and forth in the parking lot she asked if I was comfortable enough to drive us back to Cross Roads, which is at 46th and Keystone, and I said yes. We went through the neighborhoods so that I could practice with stops and turns and then I parked the car when we got back. I even stayed in the lines and didn't hit the curb! (my Kindergarten Teacher would be proud!)

It takes ten hours of actual training but the instructor can cut that short based on the students performance. Then I will have to take a driving test at the BMV and get an amended license. Unfortunately there are only three trainers and the training schedule is full, so I may not actually get to drive again until sometime this fall. In the meantime, I can start looking at different vehicles and seeing how comfortable they are with my prostheses on and off. They don't want me to purchase a car until the training is completed because we really won't know exactly what assistive devices are necessary until then.

That's all I'm gonna give ya for now so have a great week and let me know your thoughts!


Yes, your kindergarten teacher would be proud of you...but no more so than we are. That steering knob thing sounds like real modern progress. We had such a device in the late thirties that would allow you to roll down the window and hang your left elbow out of the window, steer with your right hand and look real cool... like James Dean. We are so glad to hear all of the good news of late.
Lilla and Harry
I think Id get confused with the forwards is break and backwards is accelerate too. I had to ask the first time if I drove in the US if the pedals were the same way around as in english cars, haha.

But thats really great news. Its a shame that they are so booked but but it gives you lots of time to pick out the perfect car.

Its great news, and I am so excited for you.

Annie x
Jerm, I think you should get a really big car, that way you can be up higher and more destructive, I mean critical of others driving. That is awesome news about driving. Who knew? Well, I did. It is only a matter of time before everything seems old too you because you will have your life back my friend. Wwweeeuuu, let the good times begin on celebrating life!! Keep writing the blog and keep me waiting on your progress,I love opening up my computer and your blog as my home page :-).
Stay up and stay cool, see you soon!
Congratulations on driving for the first time in well over 6 months - what a huge and brave step.
Congrats on your first driving lesson! Sounds like it went pretty well. That brake/accelerator thing does sound confusing, but I'm sure before long you won't even have to think about it. I hope you won't have to wait too long to get the rest of your training. In the mean time, have fun looking at cars!

Take care,
Erin Longwell

Shannon Coppock here. I attend church with Kelly Orr. I have been watching the blog site since it has been up and wanted to let you know you are such an inspiriation. You have the wonderful gift of God's mercy and grace, but your personal determination and ability to look at the brighter side and accept the blessing is amazing. Keep up the good work.

God bless you,
Eric and Shannon Coppock
ok back to those feelings of when you were 16 and first on the road - too funny - some things NEVER change. Yes, we're all quite proud. Yes, we know you'll do well. Yes, it's one more giant step towards complete independence.


Awesome to hear you are rolling right along in the fast lane! Hope you get your training soon and can be more independant like you want to be. We'll keep you in our prayers and look forward to hearing about your continued progress and success. Keep the faith. God bless.

The Copperwaite Family
That was so cool to hear that you drove.I bet you were really surprised when she asked you if you wanted to drive.I am really happy for you.One more step to recovery.Now you'll be thinking about what kind of car you will be getting.Glad to here the good news.Keep us informed.I check the blog every week.
Hi Jeremy,

We're thrilled to hear you've already been able to drive! :-) You are simply amazing....and quite a superb driver, obviously, if you figured out out to handle everything that fast! Heather said she talked to you Saturday evening...I knew you were right around the corner from us, but Glenn's surgery wasn't over til almost midnight....We'll see/talk to you soon...

Love You, Merrilinda and Skeets

Some time ago (actually Nov 1, I see on what I printed out) I looked for some information for you on auto hand controls. There are a variety of types, including some portable ones you can move from vehicle to vehicle. Those I found at I found some more like you described in the blog message Finally, I hope someone has shown you the July '06 Motor Trend magazine. There is an advertizing section on auto mobility with adds from each of the US automakers. I think you may be able to view that at

Glad to hear progress overall continues!

David Greenburg
(friend of your dad's)

Quick PS to the above message -- That Motor Trend site includes links to each of the auto makers (including Toyota, Honda and Lexus) sites on mobility equipment and price reductions. Most reductions are $1,000 for mobility equipment.

Awesome News!!!! Another step in the right direction. Take care. Jim
That rocks!
That's great news Jeremy! I'm so happy for you to be able to see that you will be more independent soon. I know it may take awhile but at least you know it's going to happen. That's great news!

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