What Are Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles Or WAV Cars?
What is Wheelchair accessible vehicle? A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, or WAV is a vehicle that has been professionally converted by a specialist company to allow a person in a wheelchair to enter and travel in a vehicle safely, or drive themselves
By: Michael Harraway WAV Cars
No there are many different types of vehicles that are converted into Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles and these conversions vary depending on the different requirements of the customer.
Rear wheelchair passenger WAV Car
This type of conversion is probably the most common and as the name suggests, the wheelchair passenger sits in the rear of the vehicle behind the front seats. The rear floor section of the vehicle is modified and often lowered; to increase the headroom for the wheelchair user. Additional modifications include the installation of a wheelchair restraint system that typically consists of a four-point floor anchor with retractable belts that are easily attached to most wheelchairs. To allow wheelchair access into the vehicle, the vehicle is fitted with either a fold-out ramp or, on a larger vehicle, an electric wheelchair lift is provided.
WAV Car ride up front wheelchair passenger
This conversion is where the front passenger seat is removed from the vehicle and the wheelchair passenger sits alongside the driver. This feature offers the wheelchair user a better front-facing view whilst travelling and some say they feel it is more sociable than being sat in the rear. Access to the vehicle is normally the same as the rear passenger wheelchair vehicle by means of either a fold-down ramp or an electric wheelchair lift; more rarely available some converters do offer a side entry option.
Wheelchair driver or drive from wheelchair
This type of WAV is a similar design as the wheelchair passenger ride upfront but instead of the wheelchair user being a passenger in the vehicle, the vehicle is adapted to enable them to drive. This is made possible by fitting an automatic wheelchair docking system to the floor; enabling the wheelchair to securely lock in position behind the steering wheel. This allows the wheelchair user to drive while remaining in their wheelchair.
Many of these vehicles are also fitted with remote controlled electric rear doors and electric ramp or tail lift so offer the greatest amount of independence for the wheelchair user.
Choosing the correct Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle – How to Decide?
Choosing the correct Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle may seem like a daunting task, but it goes without saying that it is important to firstly consider the needs of the wheelchair user, ensuring that the vehicle is comfortable and suitable for them.
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