Wheelchair Tie Downs are Essential for Safety
Anyone who transports a companion who uses a mobility chair must know the critical importance of wheelchair tie-downs in cars, vans or buses. Passengers in 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 or a surprise impact to the vehicle. As a result, chair tie-downs are essential to provide safety, comfort and peace of mind to the passenger, as well as others riding along in the vehicle.
According to wheelchair transportaton 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 outfit your car, van, or bus with wheelchair tiedowns, carefully research your options and consider your specific vehicle, along with the size and type of mobility chair you will be transporting.
Talk with a number of 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.
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