A wheelchair accessible vehicle is an important purchase for any wheelchair user. The right vehicle will make travelling a breeze and provide new freedoms for the user. While the choice is up to each individual, many of the same mobility options are available on both rear-entry and side entry conversions.
A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) is a standard vehicle that has been modified to allow an individual who uses a wheelchair to drive or ride as a passenger. Common modifications include built in ramps or lifts, tie downs for the wheelchair, and conversions to allow comfortable headroom. Some WAVs are also designed with hand controls to allow the driver to operate the vehicle using their hands.
Typically, the most common modification is the addition of a wheelchair ramp or lift to make it easier for the wheelchair user to enter and exit the vehicle. Ramp-based systems are most commonly used in minivans. The floor of the vehicle is lowered 8-12 in, and a ramp is inserted at the back of the vehicle. To find out more about WAV Vehicles, contact clarkemobility.com/
A disadvantage to the rear entry model is that it makes parallel parking difficult. In addition, many parking areas do not provide sufficient space for a van with a lowered floor to safely deploy the ramp.
Side-entry vehicles may be more flexible when travelling, since the wheelchair user can enter and exit curbside away from traffic. However, this configuration does require the wheelchair user to use a transfer seat or have someone assist them in driving from their chair.