Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Features
Wheelchair accessible vehicles are fitted with a range of devices to help make driving, or travelling easier for the wheelchair user. Typically, adaptations fall into three categories: they can help you drive, stow your wheelchair or scooter, or help get in and out of the car as a driver or passenger.
A few typical features of a WAV are:
Ramps (manual or remote control)
The most common type of ramp for wheelchair access is usually at the rear of the vehicle where it is bolted on to the floor and consists of either one or two pieces of strong steel sheeting, which fold down to rest on the ground when uploading the wheelchair and which stand vertically when the vehicle is in motion. The lower the car floor, the shorter the ramp will need to be, making it easier to access the car.
Driving controls can make a huge difference to your motoring experience. They can even enable a person to drive where it would not be possible in a standard car. They vary from simple attachments to the replacement of all the driving controls with a system individually designed for your needs. In most cases the original car controls
and features can still be used, so your nominated drivers can still drive. However, it is important to bear in mind that most driving controls require an automatic gearbox. In particular driving controls can help with speed control, steering and signalling.
Getting in and out of the wheelchair accessible car
When considering how to access your car as a wheelchair user, a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle can offer various solutions, some of the more standard features you will find are:
A lowered floor
This a car where part of the floor of a standard production vehicle has been removed and replaced with a modified floor that is closer to the ground. This makes the gradient between the ground and the floor of the vehicle smaller and thus helps with ease of access to the vehicle by the wheelchair user. It also enables a shorter length ramp to be used and increases the headroom.The lowered floor is a common feature in the smaller class of disabled access vehicles such as the Renault Kangoo and Citroen Berlingo and also some of the medium class such as the Citroen Dispatch, Fiat Scudo and Peugeot Expert.
Wheelchair Lift (Chair Lift orTail Lift)
This is an hydraulically operated platform that is fitted to a frame at the rear of the vehicle that lowers to ground level to accept the wheelchair and then rises to the level of the vehicle’s floor. It is simply a matter of pushing a button on a hand held remote control to activate the lift and it makes the task of moving the wheelchair into the vehicle very simple.
Wheelchair Restraint Belts / Wheelchair Occupant’s Safety Harness
These are nearly always supplied with a wheelchair accessible vehicle. They are usually a set of four belts of webbing with tightening buckles that are anchored to the floor at one end of each belt. The free ends are attached to the four legs of the wheelchair and then tightened. This ensures that the wheelchair is kept stable while travelling. The wheelchair’s occupant has their own security with a lap belt and diagonal inertia reel seatbelt with double buckle system, which allows a correct fit around the wheelchair.
Winch (usually supplied with a hand held remote control)
This is an electrically powered motor with webbing or very strong cord wound around a drum. The webbing or chord, is attached to the front legs of the wheelchair to draw the chair into the vehicle, making vehicle access effortless.
A wheelchair user can drive or be a passenger from their wheelchair without having to transfer to another seat. Another option is to transfer to a car seat and stow the wheelchair in the rear of the car. This is made easier by using a swivel seat as shown on the right.
For more details on wheelchair user car adaptations, please do not hesitate to contact to discuss your requirements with our caring professionals.
To view our current range of cars, please see our main website, www.wheelchairaccessiblevehicles.co
You can also call us on 0161 793 5934 for a no pressure relaxed chat and remember that we can bring any car available from our range for you to view at your home anywhere in the UK.