Man Born Without Arms And Legs Drives Awesome Sprinter Van Conversion
Janis McDavid was born without arms or legs, but that doesn’t stop her from moving around. He drives a personalized Mercedes Sprinter van which gives him freedom and independence. Mercedes posted two videos of McDavid and his van on his YouTube channel, showing not only how he can go anywhere, but also how he operates the van with custom controls.
McDavid accesses the van with a control panel on his wheelchair. The rear doors open automatically and an elevator opens and stretches. Once lowered, he drives onto the ramp, which then lifts up so that he can enter the back of the van where he parks and secures his wheelchair. He then closes the rear doors, grabs the keys, gets out of his chair and walks forward where he sticks the key into a custom ignition switch located in front of the van’s center console. A personalized step helps him get into the driver’s seat.
Once he has secured his seat belt, he starts the car, which performs a diagnostic test on the controls before taking off. A control panel to its right allows various functions while a small control panel above houses the gear selector. On its left side there is a joystick that allows it to control the van. The steering is done by pressing it left or right. The joystick allows the controls to accelerate and brake, but not the way you think. The rear on the handle is the gas, and the front is the brake. This is a safety mechanism to prevent McDavid from accidentally accelerating under braking if he leans forward.
“In life, you don’t have to focus on the problems, but on the possibilities,” McDavid says in one of the videos, and he did. Technology can do great things for many people if we focus on solving problems and removing barriers. For McDavid, driving a car means more to him than sheer freedom and independence.