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Mobility 101: How to Safely Use Wheelchair Lifts for Vans

By guest blogger Chris Miller, The Mobility Resource


Wheelchair lifts for vans are a great option for maintaining or increasing your mobility, independence and participation in your family and community. It’s essential that you and your caregivers know how to keep safe while traveling in your wheelchair, though.

Generally, it’s recommended that people transfer out of their wheelchair into a vehicle seat and that they use the standard seat belt system. Since you use a lift, this may not be an option for you (at least not all the time). So, make sure to follow proper safety procedures.

Wheelchair Lifts for Vans Come with Detailed Instructions

The manufacturer carefully spells out usage directions, proper safety measures and relevant precautionary statements for its
wheelchair lifts for vans
. It’s impossible to give detailed instructions here, as they vary by make, model and style. Review the owner’s manual in its entirety, and have your caregivers do the same.

Also, when you purchase or rent a handicap vehicle, the dealer should provide clear and thorough directions for safe operation of the accessibility equipment. You’ve presumably worked with a driving rehabilitation specialist, too, so he or she can also answer many of your safety questions.

Follow Proper Safety Procedures After Using Wheelchair Lifts for Vans

Once passengers have gotten into their vehicles via wheelchair lifts for vans, the most important safety steps remain. You and your wheelchair must be appropriately restrained. Always face the wheelchair forward and use every part of your vehicle’s wheelchair tie-down and occupant restraint system.

Attach all the tie-down straps as instructed. Never attach them to moving, removable or adjustable parts on the wheelchair. Once the chair is safely secured, make sure you yourself are securely held in place in the wheelchair. Use a seat belt that crosses your lap and diagonally over your chest.

Take the time to learn the proper procedures for using wheelchair lifts in your adaptive vehicle. It could safe your life.

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