Can You Safely Use a Wheelchair in a Vehicle?

Wheelchairs are a good way for those without good mobility to move around. Owning a wheelchair can allow you to travel down the street to the local shops as well as around your property. With a wheelchair at your disposal, you are able to enjoy a degree of freedom but it does still come with limitations. If your wheelchair is self-propelled, then you must be able to rely on your physical strength to take you where you need to go. If you need someone to push the wheelchair for you, then you are reliant on them to take you wherever you must visit. If your destination is local, then often you will be able to find a way to get where you desire, but if you want to travel further away, then other transport is required and that can often be a problem.

Travelling by car in a wheelchair

In most cases, you will want to be able to travel in the wheelchair rather than transferring to and from a seat in the vehicle, but placing a wheelchair in a vehicle brings difficulties. Wheelchairs have a natural tendency to roll around during transit and if the driver brakes suddenly, they can even tip over, injuring whoever happens to be in the chair. If you want to travel safely, then the only way to do that is to lock the wheelchair in place so that it is secured throughout the journey. The best way to keep a wheelchair stable is to use specially designed wheelchair restraints that lock the chair to the floor of the vehicle.

Selecting your wheelchair restraints

Finding the best wheelchair restraints for your situation will involve thinking about both the size of the wheelchair and the location in the vehicle that you want to place it. You must be able to find a spot on the floor of the vehicle that you can create fixed anchor points that will stay in situ even when the chair is not in the vehicle. A second point that you can't ignore is the length of time required to lock and unlock the wheelchair restraints at the start and end of every journey. If you make the wrong selection, then even a short journey could become much longer as you fight to lock the wheelchair restraints or to free the chair at the end of the journey. You must look at wheelchair restraints such as retractors or auto-locking systems to see which will suit you best; if possible, ask to see them in use so you can determine how easy they will be for you to use.

For more information, contact a wheelchair restraints supplier.