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Wedge opens the door to an easier life for motorists with arthritis

Designers at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) have created a wedge that allows people with arthritis to manoeuvre themselves out of cars independently and with greater ease and safety.

The Car Door Mate was designed in collaboration with charity Versus Arthritis and social venture company Arthr

The Car Door Mate was designed in collaboration with charity Versus Arthritis and social venture company Arthr to support those who have arthritis in their hips or knees, or who have weak muscles in these areas.

Getting out of a car can be difficult for people with arthritis, particularly if they have been driving for long periods.

As sitting in a car requires an occupant to have his or her hips lower than their knees, many people with the condition have to use an open car door to lift themselves out.

But this can cause the occupant to pull the door onto themselves and potentially injure their legs, or cause an accident.

The Car Door Mate – made with a robust nylon core and a sticky thermoplastic rubber exterior – is placed at the hinge and prevents the door from closing, even under 350kg of force.

The product - which can be used in any motor vehicle - features a telescopic handle so that it can placed in the hinge from a seated position and can be stored safely inside the car when not in use.

A close-up of the Car Door Mate, which is now available to buy

Professor Peter Ford, of the School of Art & Design at NTU, who heads of Design Matter research group, said: “The Car Door Mate is a great example of how universities can use their expertise to support charities and help improve people’s lives.

“Many people with arthritis struggle to get out of their own motor vehicles, but a simple wedge like this - that is able to stick in place and withstand moderate forces – enables them to lift themselves up with improved safety.

“We’re thrilled to have supported Versus Arthritis in this project and feel proud to see the Car Door Mate on the open market. It’s a very simple aid which could help many older people stay mobile and maintain their independence.”

The Car Door Mate, priced at £24.99, is available online via various websites including Amazon.

Adam Vaughan, Head of Design at Arthr, said: “The Car Door Mate is the first Arthr product that we’ve launched. It’s a great example of how a seemingly simple, well-designed, intervention can have a massive positive impact on the life of someone living with arthritis.

“By making it easier for the user to get out of the car it gives them back their independence, which can in turn improve their quality of life. Working with Design Matter at NTU ensured we developed and tested a range of creative solutions to this challenge and that the final product was engineered to last and looked at home in a contemporary car interior.”

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    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2019 in the Guardian University Awards. The award was based on performance and improvement in the Guardian University Guide, retention of students from low-participation areas and attainment of BME students.

    NTU was also the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2017, and The Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    The university has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    It is one of the largest UK universities. With nearly 32,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. With an international student population of more than 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook.

    The university is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was awarded University of the Year in the UK Social Mobility Awards 2019.

    A total of 82% of its graduates go on to graduate entry employment or graduate entry education or training within six months of leaving. Student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 87% satisfaction score in the 2020 National Student Survey, above the sector average of 83%.

Wedge opens the door to an easier life for motorists with arthritis

Published on 16 February 2021
  • Category: Press office

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