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How To Safely Load A Power Wheelchair Into Your Car?

Power Wheelchair- How To Safely Load Into Your Car?

Wheelchair transportation safety is a unique concern for power wheelchair users. The introduction of autonomous vehicles (AVs) designed with passengers in wheelchairs in mind is surely a great relief. Wheelchair tie-down and occupant restraint systems, or WTORS, are some of the critical components necessary for passengers’ safety. These systems lower the risk in the event of an accident. 

However, when it comes to safety, there are other factors to consider besides WTOR’s presence. Their appropriate application, consistent upkeep, and suitability for various wheelchair designs are all essential components of a well-thought-out approach.

For people who rely on power wheelchairs for daily mobility, transportation, etc., transporting their devices safely and efficiently from one place to another is essential and can sometimes be challenging. Ergo, knowing how to properly load a power wheelchair into a car can be a valuable skill. 

Let’s explore some practical tips and techniques to make the loading and unloading of your wheelchair smooth and hassle-free.

1. Choose The Right Car

The first step in easing the process is to ensure your car can support the dimensions and weight of your electric wheelchair.

Look for vehicles with a low loading height and enough cargo room to facilitate wheelchair mobility. Start by measuring your wheelchair’s length, width, and height, especially if it disassembles like the WHILL Model Ci2 Power Chair

Hatchbacks, minivans, and SUVs are highly popular and preferred options because of their roomy interiors and accessible features.

2. Get Your Mobility Aid Ready

Take some time to prepare your power wheelchair for travel before putting it in the automobile. When loading and unloading, make sure the chair is turned off and that the brakes are used to avoid any unanticipated movement. If available, consider removing any detachable parts from your wheelchair, such as the armrests or joystick, to lighten the overall weight and size of the apparatus.

3. Use Portable Ramps or Lifts

Putting money on transportable ramps or lifts can be beneficial if you have wheelchair transportation in mind. They make getting a power wheelchair into your automobile much easier. These devices eliminate the need for lifting or manual assistance by providing a seamless way from the ground level to the cargo area of the car or any vehicle. 

Portable ramps, available in multiple designs and lengths to suit varying vehicle heights and wheelchair sizes, can be a useful and adaptable alternative for wheelchair users.

4. Position the Wheelchair for Loading

Place your power wheelchair carefully close to the car door, ensuring it lines up with the lift or ramp to facilitate easy loading. If possible, ask a friend or caregiver to assist you so they can offer extra assistance and direction while loading the wheelchair. 

Go cautiously and take your time to prevent any mishaps or injuries.

5. Use Proper Lifting Techniques

To prevent strain or damage, maintain your back straight and bend your knees when lifting the electric wheelchair onto the ramp or lift. While keeping a steady grip on the grips or wheelchair frame, use your legs to produce power and move the wheelchair gradually. 

If needed, assistance equipment, such as sliding boards or transfer belts, is best to make lifting safer, more effective, and quicker.

6. Secure the Wheelchair in Place

Use wheelchair restraints or tie-down straps to safely secure the power wheelchair inside the car. These mechanisms help to maintain stability and safety for the wheelchair user as well as other passengers; these mechanisms are made to stop the wheelchair from shifting or moving while in transportation. 

Install the tie-down straps correctly and use them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

7. Double-Check for Safety

Before you hit the road, make sure the electric wheelchair is correctly fastened and that all doors and ramps are closed. Lastly, take a quick look at the wheelchair to ensure it is in good operating order and prepared for use when you get to your location.

Final Take:

Knowing how to safely load a power wheelchair into your car is essential to keep your mobility and independence safe and sound. Follow these practical tips to ensure a smooth and hassle-free transportation experience. And if it is too overwhelming, invest in a modern WHILL Model Ci2 Power Chair that can be disassembled in 4 parts and can be transported in any type of vehicle. 

Remember – A right power wheelchair with necessary transportation tools brings you optimum confidence and peace of mind.

Published by: Nelly Chavez

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