The Bureau of Transportation Statistics estimates that around 25.5 million people over the age of five have disabilities that limit travel. Additional statistics show that only 60.4 percent of people with disabilities drive vehicles, compared to nearly 92 percent of people who do not have disabilities.
ADA and Gas Stations
Those numbers perhaps help explain why when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) arrived in 1990, it noted that people with disabilities may find it "difficult or impossible to use the controls, hose, or nozzle of a self-serve gas pump." As a result, the ADA began requiring self-serve gas stations to provide equal access to their customers with disabilities:
- Provide refueling assistance upon the request of an individual with a disability. A service station or convenience store is not required to provide such service at any time that it is operating on a remote control basis with a single employee, but is encouraged to do so, if feasible.
- Let patrons know (e.g., through appropriate signs) that customers with disabilities can obtain refueling assistance by either honking or otherwise signaling an employee.
In 2012, additional requirements were enacted regarding the operable parts of fuel pumps, making them accessible to motorists with disabilities who want to pump their own fuel. An article published on the Access Advocates web site commented that "Right now, complaints drive compliance at gas stations."
Innovation and ADA Compliance
Innovation can also drive change. Husky Corporation has developed two new features for fuel nozzles that can make it easier to dispense fuel into vehicles. One is called EZ Lever, which essentially is new two-piece design rather than the previously utilized one-piece design. The EZ Lever is ADA compliant, as it requires approximately half the force of conventional levers in order to open the nozzle to dispense fuel. This is a short video that explains the logic behind EZ Lever.
In addition, Husky engineers redesigned the poppet skirt in a way that helps control the flow of fuel through the nozzle with greater ease. The innovation is called a Tilt Poppet, the effect of which permits a precise amount of fuel to be dispensed into vehicles very easily. Here is a video that shows how the Tilt Poppet functions.
These innovations, whether utilized separately or in combination on a given fuel nozzle application, effectively make the fueling process easier for everyone. They also help fuel marketers improve the user experience at their locations. Contact Husky Corporation at 800-325-3558 or go to www.Husky.com to learn more about these and other product developments which are designed to put customers first.