independent

Thursday 25 April 2019

New app helps disabled drivers to refuel easily

Richard Ryder, marketing manager at the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland with Niall El-Assaad, creator of the free fuelservice app for disabled drivers
Richard Ryder, marketing manager at the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland with Niall El-Assaad, creator of the free fuelservice app for disabled drivers

Disabled drivers in Wicklow will find refuelling their vehicles a little bit easier with the help of a new app.

The free fuelService app, designed by Niall El-Assad was created to ensure that disabled drivers could avail of assistance at participating service stations, to save them the trouble of getting in and out of their vehicle to fill up.

All Applegreen service stations have signed up to participate in the programme including Arklow, Coyne's Cross and Ashford and work is ongoing to attract other companies who are keen to offer the service.

The fuelService app is free for users to download while participating fuel retailers pay a small fee per station to be on it.

The Disabled Drivers Association is the charity partner for the app in Ireland and Applegreen was the first fuel retailer in Ireland to sign up to it.

Mr El-Assad donates the entire proceeds to charity, with 50 per cent to the charity partner in each country and 50 per cent to spinal research worldwide.

He created the app following a bike accident in 2013 which left him disabled.

'If you're not disabled, then you'll probably never realise how difficult a simple thing like filling up your car can be,' he said.

'If you can't get out of your car, then you simply have to drive from station to station trying to find one where the staff can help you, hoping you won't run out of petrol before you get there. Once you arrive, there is no guarantee that staff will notice you and come to your aid. You can only hope for the best as you flash your lights, beep the horn or wave your disabled driver badge around, but that's humiliating, particularly as other drivers have no idea you're disabled and just see you acting as a crazy person! It was a situation that was crying out for a simple yet effective tech solution that could be used by disabled drivers worldwide, so I am delighted and proud at how well the app has been received so far,' he said.

To download the free fuelservice app, go to http://get.fuelservice.org

Wicklow People

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