How Wheelchair Van Restraints Keep You Safe and Secure

Not only are wheelchair van restraints vital to the design and proper use of a handicap accessible van, these tie-down straps or electronic docking systems are a legally necessary safety precaution. Tie-down straps and docking systems keep the wheelchair user secure and safe while riding in a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

You can choose from a variety of restraint devices. Tie-down system options include fixed points of attachment or rails, which make it easier to change the wheelchair positions. Your choice between semi-automatic (manual) and automatic restraints depends on how you plan to use the van. If you’ll be a passenger in the van, consider the level of strength and mobility of your primary caretaker. Semi-automatic or manual systems may require some agility and strength to secure the chair, so these restraints might be less user-friendly for the elderly. With some semi-automatic systems, it’s often necessary to manually tighten and straighten out the restraining belts, while others are self-tensioning, self-locking and self-retracting.

Automatic restraint systems, like the EZ-Lock wheelchair dock, lock on to the base of the chair as soon as it’s in position. If you prefer to drive your accessible vehicle, you might opt for the automatic system, which locks the wheelchair in place. The base of the system is mounted to the floor of your vehicle and helps guide your wheelchair into place until it locks. The quick press of a button releases the chair from the docking base.

Security within the chair is also required while traveling. Lap belts are similar to airline seat belts, and more elaborate, four-point restraint systems are also available. There are special systems for children, and the wheelchair should have a headrest.

It’s always wise to research all your restraint options to be sure you select the best restraint system for your particular needs. Your safety and peace of mind absolutely depend on it.