Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV):
A wheelchair accessible vehicle, also known as a WAV, is a specialized vehicle designed to accommodate individuals with mobility challenges. Wheelchair vehicles are equipped with features that provide safety and comfort to the wheelchair user while allowing them the freedom to travel independently or with family and friends.
Features of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles:
A wheelchair accessible vehicle includes features designed to make transportation convenient, comfortable, and safe for individuals with mobility challenges. These features can be customized to meet the unique needs and preferences of each user and their family, and include:
1. Ramps or Lifts
A wheelchair ramp is an inclined surface designed to provide a smooth vehicle access point for wheelchair users or those with mobility challenges. Alternatively, a wheelchair lift is a mechanical device designed to raise a person in a wheelchair into the vehicle safely without leaving their chair. Wheelchair ramps and wheelchair lifts are located at the side or rear of the vehicle. They can be manual or powered, operated by a button, switch, or remote.
2. Lowered Floors
To accommodate the wheelchair lift or ramp and provide sufficient headroom and interior space the floor of the vehicle is lowered. This modification ensures the wheelchair user can comfortably and safely sit inside their wheelchair in the interior of the vehicle.
3. Wheelchair Securement Systems
Wheelchair securement systems are utilized to ensure the safety of wheelchair users while the vehicle is in motion. Types of securement systems include wheelchair tie-downs, retractable belts, or docking systems. These devices help keep the wheelchair firmly in place during transit.
4. Hand Controls
When an accessible vehicle is designed for the wheelchair user to drive, hand controls can be installed to easily facilitate vehicle operation. Additional adaptive equipment, such as pedal extensions and steering aids, can also be added to enhance driving safety.
5. Automatic Sliding Doors:
Automatic sliding doors are a common feature on wheelchair accessible vehicles. They are located on the side or rear of the vehicle. The doors are operated with a button or remote control, providing added convenience for wheelchair users, their families, or caregivers. Some automatic sliding door systems come equipped with obstacle detection sensors, which prevent the door from closing on objects or people, ensuring the safety of all passengers.
6. Adjustable Seating:
Wheelchair accessible vehicle interiors can be modified to remove or reposition seating to accommodate the wheelchair user or additional passengers. This flexibility also allows for greater storage space.
Different Types of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles:
Wheelchair accessible vehicles come in various types, including cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks. The choice of vehicle will ultimately depend on the wheelchair user and their family’s preferences, their specific needs, and their total budget.
At Universal Motion, we have an extensive inventory of wheelchair accessible vehicles, featuring top brands such as Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Mercedes, and Toyota. Our inventory is constantly changing, and we may have additional vans in stock that are not yet listed on our website. If you have any questions, our conversion specialists are available to guide you through our entire inventory and discuss custom solutions for you or your family members.
Benefits of Using a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle
Owning a pre-owned or new wheelchair accessible vehicle can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with mobility challenges and their families. These vehicles offer enhanced freedom, safety, and comfort. They also offer increased independence, which can be invaluable in daily life.
1. Increased Mobility and Freedom:
Wheelchair accessible vehicles allow greater mobility and freedom for wheelchair users, their families, and friends. It enables them to travel to various destinations without relying on public transportation or specialized transport services.
2. Enhanced Safety:
Wheelchair accessible vehicles are equipped with features that ensure the safety of wheelchair users. Ramps and lifts provide smooth and safe transitions when entering and exiting the vehicle. Securement systems are put in place to ensure the wheelchair is secured to reduce the risk of injury in case of sudden stops or accidents. Additional safety features such as backup cameras and sensors aid the driver when parking and reversing. Roll cages and side airbags may also be included to protect passengers in case of an accident. A range of other features and technologies can also be installed to help enhance the safety of all passengers.
Wheelchair accessible vehicles are designed with the wheelchair user in mind. The floor of the vehicle is lowered and the interior is opened up to ensure that there is ample headroom, legroom, and interior space to accommodate wheelchairs or other mobility aids. This can make traveling more comfortable and less stressful for both the wheelchair user and other passengers.
4. Greater Independence:
Wheelchair accessible vehicles empower individuals with mobility challenges to travel independently, participate more fully in social activities, and attend appointments. This can have a positive impact on the wheelchair user’s mental well-being, as they can participate in activities outside of the home that may otherwise be challenging.
5. Customization Options:
Wheelchair accessible vehicles can be customized to fit the specific needs and preferences of the individual user, providing a tailored solution for every person.
Financing a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle
A wheelchair accessible vehicle is an important yet expensive investment that can improve health, well-being, happiness, and freedom. At Universal Motion, we are dedicated to helping our clients get the vehicle they want at a price they can afford. In partnership with Trillium FSB, Universal Motions offers the first accessible vehicle financing in Canada. Let our team help you overcome any obstacle standing between you and your independence.
Since 1984, Universal Motion has dedicated itself to helping and empowering individuals with mobility challenges by providing enhanced mobility solutions. Our team of wheelchair accessible vehicle experts are ready to answer any questions you may have. Reach out to us today and take the first step towards your mobility journey and a more accessible future.