Wheelchair Tie Downs are Essential for Safety
Anyone who transports a companion who uses a mobility chair must know the critical importance of consistently and properly using wheelchair tie downs. Passengers in manual and power chairs are vulnerable to sudden movement in any type of vehicle – and must be protected and secured when being driven to any destination.
This safety measure is especially important in the event of unexpected turns, stops or a surprise impact to the vehicle. As a result, mobility chair tie downs are essential to the safety, comfort and peace of mind of the passenger, as well as others riding along in the vehicle.
According to wheelchair transportation experts, mobility chair tie downs that include an occupant restraint combined with wheelchair anchorage provide the best protection. A passenger may be positioned to face the front or back of the vehicle, but should never be transported in a side-facing position.
Most manufacturers produce shoulder and lap belt systems for the passenger combined with a four-point restraining system for the wheelchair. With this two-step preventive approach, the wall and floor of the vehicle absorb the jolts and impact forces instead of the wheelchair passenger.
Wheelchair restraints feature heavy straps or harnesses that are mounted to the floor in pod-type or rail systems and feature fasteners that latch on to the wheelchair base to hold it in place.
Tensioning systems provide secure anchorage in the event of an accident and prevent sideways movement of the wheelchair and passenger during transport.
As you plan to outfit your van or bus with tie downs, carefully research your options and consider your specific vehicle, along with the size and type of mobility chair you will be transporting. Ask your accessible van dealer about tie down installation, maintenance requirements, and repair services,
Talk with a number of accessible van dealers about each system you are considering and see if you can get the names of individuals who have bought various models to ascertain satisfaction levels from a consumer perspective.
In addition, ask your dealer about tie down installation, maintenance requirements, and repair services. It is also beneficial to test the tie down system you are considering with an individual in a wheelchair to determine ease of use and comfort.
Types of Mobility Chairs
Wheelchair Sports Activities
Helpful Resource Organizations
Mobility Scooter Buying Tips
Portable Ramp Options