If you or a loved one uses a wheelchair for mobility, having an accessible vehicle can make travel infinitely easier. Wheelchair-accessible vehicles include ramps, lifts, or lowered floors to enable someone using a wheelchair to enter and exit the vehicle. As we head into 2024, here are the top reasons you may want to consider getting a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.
One of the greatest perks of having your own wheelchair-accessible vehicle is the independence it provides. Relying on public transport or taxis with wheelchair access can be limiting – you need to stick to their schedule, and there is no guarantee a wheelchair taxi or bus will always be available when needed. With your own vehicle adapted for wheelchair access, you can come and go as you please without struggling with accessibility issues.
More Comfort and Convenience
Public wheelchair-accessible transport, though helpful, is often not an overly comfortable experience. The vehicles may enable you to board but often provide limited space once inside. Having a personal vehicle adapted to your unique mobility needs means you can travel in total comfort every time. The vehicle can be customised to suit your exact requirements as well.
Easier Accessibility for Day Trips
Spontaneous day trips are difficult when relying on buses or trains for wheelchair access. Your own vehicle means you can hit the open road whenever adventure calls. Go on countryside drives, visit friends and family in other towns, or take random day trips worry-free, knowing your accessible vehicle can get you there without accessibility hassles.
Accommodate Additional Mobility Aids
Wheelchair-accessible public transport may only have space for the wheelchair itself – your mobility doesn’t end there, however. Many individuals rely on additional aids like crutches, walkers, and transport chairs alongside their main wheelchairs. Having your own vehicle means it’s tailored to everything you need to take along to travel comfortably and safely every time you set out.
Used WAVs are More Cost-effective
At first glance, a wheelchair-accessible vehicle may seem more costly than relying on public options. When you rely on public transport for your mobility needs, costs add up extremely quickly between individual bus, train, or taxi rides. A used-accessible vehicle is a one-time payment that provides unlimited accessibility after purchase. For regular travellers especially, owning a used WAV often costs far less in the long run, and it is worth looking at used wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Used WAV vehicles are cheaper than buying brand-new vehicles, so check out used WAVs to see if there is one that suits your budget.
Adaptive Driving Controls Included
Driving independence itself is immensely freeing for those in wheelchairs. Most wheelchair accessible vehicles can easily be fitted with adaptive driving equipment to enable the individual in the wheelchair to drive themselves. From mounts for steering wheel knobs and handles to lifts going to the driver’s side, a variety of accommodations make driving possible.
Keep Your Wheelchair Secure
The open spaces on buses and trains that accommodate wheelchairs also mean your mobility device isn’t necessarily secured in place. Sudden braking or accidents could put you in danger. In a personal wheelchair-accessible vehicle, you can use wheelchair harnesses and other tie-down systems made specifically to keep your chair firmly locked in place while travelling to keep you safe.
Easier Getting Around with a Group
If you often travel with a group of friends and family, relying on wheelchair-accessible public transit can mean splitting up the group if proper accommodations aren’t available for all. Having your own vehicle means the entire group can travel together comfortably and securely. Several systems even allow transporting multiple wheelchair users at once in the same vehicle.
Custom Comfort Based On Disability
Wheelchair users have diverse conditions and needs beyond mobility. One user may need climate adjustments due to an inability to regulate their body temperature, while another may require a vehicle that can transport both a wheelchair and a medical bed for lying down due to health issues. With a personal wheelchair vehicle, every detail from seating materials to wheelchair storage can be tailored to cater to specific disability needs.
Future-Proof as Needs Change
Mobility and accessibility needs change over time – perhaps you need a manual wheelchair now but may transition to electric later on. Removable seats and upgradeable lifts allow vehicles to transform as your unique situation evolves. Investing in a wheelchair-accessible vehicle means you’ll be covered as requirements change through all of life’s phases.
As we move into 2024, a wheelchair-accessible vehicle provides significant increases in independence, comfort, and mobility for wheelchair users. If buying new seems too costly, many affordable options exist as well from converted used vehicles to financing programmes such as leasing to help get you driving. As your needs shift, a personal accessible vehicle ensures reliable transport with disability in mind wherever the road takes you.
Image by Freepik