Wheelchair Tie-Downs and Restraints
There are many different types of wheelchairs and scooters (types of conveyances) available today for people with personal mobility challenges. Some of these conveyances are safe to be transported while occupied in a moving vehicle and some are not. It is always important to consider how the conveyance will be transported and secured. In most cases, a scooter with a tiller (handle bars) is not a safe conveyance for occupied use in a moving vehicle. Manual and powered wheelchairs can usually be used for safe occupied transport. The Wheelchair Van allows for an occupied wheelchair to enter the van and offers safe and reliable transportation for passengers who cannot transfer to a standard vehicle seat. Safety is our first priority and securing the wheelchair and passenger is the key. Properly securing the wheelchair certainly protects the wheelchair passenger but eliminates the opportunities for the wheelchair to get loose and injure another passenger while the vehicle is in transit. The objective is to secure the wheelchair to keep it from moving inside the vehicle and secure the passenger inside the wheelchair with an automotive 3-Point seat belt system.
TYPES OF WHEELCHAIR TIE-DOWNS AND RESTRAINTS:
4-Point Tie Downs:
This is the most common wheelchair tie-down system. This system has 4 straps that attach to the wheelchair at four points. The other end of the straps is attached to the anchors on the Wheelchair Van floor. These straps are adjustable by an over center buckle or ratchet type device. Once the wheelchair is in position the straps are applied and tightened to eliminate movement of the wheelchair. To secure the wheelchair passenger, a seat belt receiver that is attached to a floor anchor accepts the vehicle seat belt. An upgrade to the 4-Point system is a set of 4 self-retracting straps. This eliminates the need for manual adjusting. Both types of 4-Point restraint systems are very safe and secure. Although this type of wheelchair securement is safe and effective, it usually requires assistance from someone other than the wheelchair passenger to properly apply the restraints. Both manual and power wheelchairs work with this system. More commonly, the manual wheelchair is more widely used with the 4-Point system.
Electronic Wheelchair Restraints:
Wheelchair bound passengers who want to have mobility independence and will often travel alone will find it more useful to utilize the Electronic Wheelchair Restraint System. This method is mostly used for power wheelchairs. This system uses a base lock on the floor of the van and a wheelchair bracket with a pin attached to the wheelchair. This system can be used with a manual wheelchair, but the wheelchair bracket eliminates the ability to fold the wheelchair. The passenger is restrained the same as the 4-Point system with a seat belt receiver attached to the floor anchor. There are safety switches built in to the base lock that alerts the wheelchair occupant that the wheelchair is not secured in the base. There are also lights on the control console to show successful and unsuccessful securement.
Our trained professionals at Helping Wheels Mobility & Conversions have provided many customers with safe Wheelchair Tie-Down and Restraint Systems. We focus on the details of placement inside the Wheelchair Van regarding the turning radius of the wheelchair along with the safety and comfort of the seat belt contacts the occupant. We truly want to gain the wheelchair passenger as much comfort and functionality as possible. We perform a fitting with the customer and determine all factors prior to bolting the base lock to the floor. Please contact one of our professional Mobility Consultants to lean which Tie-Down and Restraint System best meets your needs.