Wheelchair Tie Downs

Wheelchair Tie Downs

If a wheelchair passengers going to be transported in a van someplace, it''s important to tie down the wheelchair securely so that it doesn''t move during the trip. Passengers who sit in their wheelchairs during a trip can be vulnerable to tipping, moving, or even being injured in the event that the vehicle has to stop suddenly or even during what is general driving movement. Therefore, it''s imperative to use wheelchair tie downs securely so that this type of movement doesn''t happen.

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Why it''s important to use wheelchair tie downs during the trip.

Even sudden turns can make wheelchairs tip sideways, while sudden stops can make wheelchairs to backwards or forwards. Therefore, not only is important to secure the passenger in the wheelchair, but the wheelchair itself must also not move and therefore possibly injure other passengers.

Wheelchair transportation experts have stated that mobility chair tie downs should be included along with a wheelchair occupant restraint for the best protection. In most cases, if possible, it''s best to face passengers forward, so that they can see the road just every other passenger in the van can. In other cases, it may be necessary to place the passenger facing backwards, but that should be avoided if possible.

Wheelchair passengers should never be transported sideways unless specific tiedowns have been provided to do so and it''s absolutely safe to do this. In almost every case, forward facing or, if need be, facing the passenger backward is best.

In addition to tying down the wheelchair itself, most manufacturers today also provide shoulder and lap belt restraints for the wheelchair passenger -- this is in addition to a four-point restraining system for the wheelchair itself. When it''s done this way, the ride is much less jolting to the passenger because jolts, jarring, bumping and impact forces are absorbed by the walls and floor of the vehicle instead of by the wheelchair and passenger.

Most wheelchair restraints include heavy harnesses or straps mounted to the floor in rail systems or pod type systems with fasteners that snap to the base of the wheelchair to hold it in place.

In addition, tension is provided so that anchors are secure in the event of sudden stops or even accidents. It also prevents sideways movement of the passenger and wheelchair.

If you''re looking to outfit your own vehicle with wheelchair tie downs, take a look at the options you have and consider your specific vehicle. In addition, if you''re going to be doing your own tie downs and you are going to be sitting in the wheelchair yourself, look for tie downs that you can access easily from a sitting position so that you can strap yourself in. Alternatively, you may wish to transfer to a seat and then tie down your wheelchair when it''s empty, which will require its own system. Again, research your options before you buy.