Wheelchair Accessories – Making Life Easier!
Transportation on a bus or van in a wheelchair can be extremely dangerous without the proper use of tie-downs. Accidents are too often reported that could have been easily avoided had the individual been properly secured. Tie-downs are often referred to as “4 point wheelchair tie-downs” based on the 4 proper points of attachment, with 2 in the front and 2 in the back. This system, when implemented properly, provides maximum stability for the wheelchair and its occupant. There are three main types of wheelchair tie-downs, the first being basic tie-downs. This is the least expensive option, and consists of straps with buckles that are tightened after attachment. Retractable tie-downs act somewhat like a seat belt, retracting into a spool inside a metal or plastic housing attached to the floor of the vehicle. The straps cannot be loosened without the use of the manual release. Perhaps the most popular type of tie-down is the self-tensioning tie-down. The spool automatically tightens the strap, removing any slack from the hold on the wheelchair. Although this is the most expensive tie-down option, it has been found to be the most user-friendly, as well as the safest, option. Using tie-downs allows for safe, worry-free transportation for wheelchair users.
For the driving ease and comfort for people with disabilities, steering controls have been developed that permit foot-free driving. A free-spinning knob can be attached to the steering wheel of a car, which allows for turns to be made with the use of only one hand. This keeps the other hand free for a lever that acts as the break and acceleration control. This lever can be push/pull, which requires the most arm strength, push/twist, which is very similar to a motorcycle, push/rock, which resembles the lever on a slot machine, or push/right angle, which are the most popular and considered the user-friendliest option. These controls have advanced independent transportation for people with disabilities, and with so many options available, everybody is sure to find a method that suits them.
Most wheelchairs have adjustable foot pedals, which can be crucial to the well being of the user. The pedals must be adjusted to the proper height in order to ensure comfort and to reduce stress on the leg and back muscles. Foot pedals can be laid down to allow the user to rest his or her feet upon, or can be in an upright position to allow for chair entry and exit. If the foot pedals are down at an improper time, the user is at risk of tripping and falling. Likewise, if they are up when they should be down, the user will not have the necessary support for their feet and legs, so caution must be taken at all times. If used correctly, the pedals will ensure comfort and safety.
For people with limited mobility, swivel seats, also known as turning automotive seating, are a great way to transfer between a vehicle and a wheelchair. The seat swivels out over the sill of the car allowing for easy access to and from the vehicle. Options are available that simply turn 90 degrees from the vehicle or that turn and lower toward the ground for even more assistance. Swivel seats are available for many different types of vehicles and come in manual and automatic options and can be adjusted for a wide variety of special needs, even including seats that have been adapted to suit growing children. With such a helpful and manageable system, motor transportation does not have to be daunting to those with mobile limitations. Innovative accessories make any trip possible for any person. If you’d like to view the turning automotive seating option, you can click the link here from our website.
For recommendations on what would work best for your individual needs, please visit a MC Mobility dealer near you.
This mobility update has been brought to you by M.C. Mobility Systems. For information about wheelchair accessible vehicles, visit MCMobilitySystems.com to find the dealership nearest you.