By Brittany Laws
You have finally gotten your wheelchair. You are enjoying doing household task and maybe even getting out doors for short distances. But now you need to transport your wheelchair. This may or may not have crossed your mind when planning for a power wheelchair, but lets walk through some choices.
In most cases insurance will not assist with ramps or lifts for your vehicle, nor will they assist with a new car for easier transport ability for your wheelchair. So it is important to think though this issue and make the right decision, as it is costly to buy this equipment or a new car.
Our first thought may go to a pickup truck. These vehicles have a spacious truck bed with easy access for a ramp. However, this option may not be the best. A truck bed, even with tie-downs is often times to large for the wheelchair. This results in the wheelchair moving around while the truck is in motion. The truck bed is not covered so in adverse weather condition the wheelchair could be damaged while on the back of the truck. Trucks are also higher off the ground than most other vehicles. It could be difficult for you to transfer into and out the cab of the truck safely. Not to mention, the unsafe incline of the ramp due to the distance off the ground.
Your next thought may be a car with a wheelchair lift. A sedan car, while great for the family, it can be a tricky option. If the wheelchair is portable then it may fit in the trunk of the car, you need to make sure that all parts a secure to avoid damage to the wheelchair. If however, it is a power wheelchair that does not dissemble you will need a lift on the back on the car. Lifts can be manual or power operated. However often times these lifts can be pricey and inconvenient for some, as they do require assembly and alterations to the car.
Another pliable option is an SUV. While these can be spacious vehicles, SUV’s usually have seating through out the vehicle. SUV’s can be modified to accommodate power wheelchair, however it can be a costly process. Again, a SUV can be a very plausible option for foldable wheelchair or power wheelchairs that are easily disassembled into small parts that can fit in the back of the vehicle. But again the issue arises of how to transport a fully assembled power wheelchair. You can probably modify your SUV but modifications can be expensive.
What if there was a vehicle option that came equipped with a ramp or lift as well as room inside the vehicle to transport your wheelchair; a vehicle that wasn’t too large but could still accommodate your wheelchair without having to fold it up or take it apart. There is, it’s called a wheelchair minivan. They have the standard dimensions of a minivan except that the inside is well-suited for wheelchair users. Most wheelchair minivans come standard with all options as any other vehicle: CD player, AC, power locks and window, (model and year dependent) but they also allow access for your power wheelchair. All models come with tie-down options. Some have multiple tie-down locations, meaning your wheelchair will be secured safely in the most convenient location while traveling. Most of these minivans come standard with a ramp to allow easy entry of your wheelchair into the vehicle. Wheelchair minivans are lower to the ground than other types of vehicles, ensuring you can safely transfer in and out of the minivan. While buying an entire new car may not have been in your plan, this option may come out cheaper than purchasing a lift or ramp and paying for it to be installed to your current vehicle.
Maybe you already own a wheelchair and are now considering a vehicle for transport, or maybe you are getting your ducks in a row, considering a vehicle before obtaining your wheelchair. Either way, click on the Qualify Through Insurance form today and let us help you out with getting the correct equipment. Still have questions about what vehicle will be best for you and your wheelchair, give us a call at 888-345-1780 for more information today.