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Don’t worry if you have never given any thought to converting a vehicle for wheelchair use. You probably wouldn’t know the first thing about what the conversion of a vehicle for wheelchair use would involve. If you are reading this article right now, you are probably in a situation where you need to convert a vehicle for wheelchair use and you are looking for info on what you need for a conversion – what is involved and how to do it safely.
The first step is to make sure that your vehicle meets or exceeds official safety and crash standards. You might then want to look for services that do qualified conversions for wheelchair users. You can discuss with them what kind of wheelchair conversion would be most suitable for your vehicle and your specific needs.
Type of Wheelchair Conversions
For a vehicle to get a wheelchair conversion, there are quite a few steps that have to be carried out. For rear entry conversions, adding power transfer seats and installing secure straps are required.
The most effective way for a wheelchair passenger to access a vehicle is by using a rear entry conversion with an extendible ramp that folds away. The kind of ramped used will depend on the passenger’s weight and type of wheelchair they use.
Type of Ramp for Vehicles
The ramps used in rear entry wheelchair conversions ranges from the heavy-duty remote control motorized ramp to a spring loaded light-weight ramp. Rear entry conversions for wheelchairs are the most convenient vehicle modifications since they can make use of parking spaces that don’t have sufficient side entry space.
When the vehicle has been converted to give either side or rear wheelchair access, the next very important thing that has to be done is a way to secure the wheelchair inside the vehicle.
This is vital not only for the wheelchair user but for every passenger inside the vehicle. Two of the more popular ways to secure the wheelchair are wheelchair straps or an electronic monitored docking system.
Type of Wheelchair Vehicle Locking Systems
The docking system uses a base panel which locks the wheels in place. The straps are a little less effective but they secure the wheelchair from straps attached to the roof and sides of the vehicle.
The other important addition that is needed for wheelchair accessibility is a power transfer seat. Instead of riding in a wheelchair be it docked or strapped, these special crash tested seats offer a higher level of safety. The power transfer seats make transferring from the vehicle to the wheelchair much easier, while providing sufficient space around the vehicle for easy entrance and exit.
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