Most of the time, consumer’s focus on the features and benefits of accessible vehicles so the wheelchair occupant can be better suited as a passenger. But there are just as many new handicapped accessible vans out there that have made strides to ensure individuals with disabilities can also drive in comfort.
Several manufacturers, like BraunAbility make improvements for the driver to operate an accessible van safely—and with little hassle. If you’re on the hunt for a van that allows this sort of freedom, make sure you look for these four must-have features when browsing wheelchair accessible vans for sale.
1) Lowered floors.
A partially lowered floor will allow more clearance for the driver to make the transition from wheelchair to the driver’s seat. This can be quite expensive, but the comfort and ease of access it provides is well worth the cost.
2) Wheelchair tie-downs.
It’s vital that the wheelchair is securely placed within the vehicle. A non-secured wheelchair is a hazard that can cause damage to the chair—and more importantly, injury to the occupant. There are a few options for securing the chair. Most people use traditional tie-downs and electronic tie down options. The EZ lock solution is being used by more and more people on a yearly basis as well, as it allows for quick and secure anchoring.
3) Custom controls.
Some handicapped accessible vans come with major modifications in the driver’s position. These range from simple steering tools to hand-operated controls that act as the accelerator and brakes. These controls are not only convenient, but also maximize safety.
4) Seat adjustments.
Many wheelchair accessible vehicles for drivers have seats that have been replaced with swivel seats. These are designed for a much easier transition from a wheelchair to the driver’s seat. There are other options to choose form as well, all based on providing the optimum space and comfort for both the driver and passengers.
Driving with a disability doesn’t have to be stressful. With the right modifications to a handicapped accessible van, you’ll be able to discover the freedom that comes with driving all over again.