With many ways of transporting or travelling in your electric wheelchair in a vehicle there can be many considerations to take. From hoist capacities, to crash test requirements and seat to floor heights, there are some fundamental requirements depending on how you and your chair will be transported.
If you are able to transfer from your chair to your vehicle there are options such as hoists. These allow you to transport your chair in the boot of your vehicle. The hoist would usually be mounted on the rear wheel arch area of your car. Brackets would be fitted onto your chair, and you would pick the chair up with the hoist and swing it into the vehicle.
1.Hoists come with a maximum weight capacity, so it is critical that your chair comes within the design limit of your hoist.
Generally, chairs are secured using 4 point tie down brackets and straps that secure the chair to the vehicle floor. For greater convenience you could use a vehicle docking system instead that removes the need for traditional straps. These are usually a 2 part system with one part fitted in the vehicle and the other on the chair. Various docking systems are available, and you should ensure that your chosen wheelchair is compatible with your choice of docking system.
2. If you wish to travel in a vehicle whilst seated in your chair you must ensure that your chair meets the crash test requirements of ISO 7176-19. You should also ensure that a suitable head restraint is fitted to the chair when in transit or that provision for head restraint is made as part of the vehicle structure.
A popular option for independent living is drive from vehicles. With the use of a docking system, you are able to drive your vehicle from your electric wheelchair. It is always advisable to select your wheelchair before choosing a vehicle though as not all chairs work well in all vehicles. You should ensure that your chosen chair is crash tested and that your choice of docking system is compatible with both vehicle and chair.
3. Another important consideration here is the seat to floor height of your chair, you need it to be low enough to allow easy access into the vehicle and to allow a good line of sight underneath the roofline of the vehicle. Too tall and your vision will be adversely affected.
I hope that this has given you a good starting point towards understanding the ways in which you can transport or travel in your electric wheelchair in your vehicle and what to consider before purchasing. Of course, there are many individual needs and factors that may also need to be thought about and discussed, so please feel free to get in touch here and one of our Product Specialists will contact you to answer any of your questions.