Wheelchairs are a mobility aid commonly used by thousands of people around the UK on a daily basis for a variety of mobility needs. If you are looking at purchasing a wheelchair, an important factor to consider is if it is compatible to be used inside a vehicle such as a mini bus, taxi or car. Many wheelchair users often find travelling a challenge, or worry about how they will get to places such as hospital appointments if they struggle manoeuvring in and out of their chair. Many wheelchair users may find it more comfortable when remained seated in their own wheelchair while travelling, so it is important to ensure it is safe to be used within a vehicle. We find that many customers do not understand what the term “Crash Tested” actually refers to, but the safety of our customers is of the highest importance to us here at Ableworld, so we hope this quick guide helps to give you a better understanding.
What does Crash Tested Mean?
If a manufacturer refers to a wheelchair as “Crash Tested” or “Transportable” it means that the wheelchair is safe to be pushed inside a suitable vehicle during travel, that features anchor points that can be secured into place with the occupant seated within the wheelchair. The anchor points within the vehicle are used by attaching straps to the anchor points on the wheelchair. These straps are then tightened to ensure the wheelchair will not move in the event of an accident and therefore protecting the wheelchair user from harm when travelling.
How do I know if my wheelchair is Crash Tested?
Wheelchairs that have been manufactured and suitably tested for secure use within a suitable vehicle will be marked clearly on the wheelchair with anchor symbols featured on the frame of the wheelchair, similar to the image to the right. The icon is most commonly displayed on the front frame of the chair, however details are also clearly stated within the user manual, and we include details on the individual product pages on our Ableworld website.
Are all Wheelchairs Crash Tested or only certain types?
No, not all wheelchairs are crash tested and you should double check the manufacturers guide and look for the anchor symbols on the wheelchair frame to check. There are a variety of crash tested models available from Ableworld, including Self Propel wheelchairs, which have larger rear wheels that allow the user to propel themselves to travel, or our Transit Wheelchairs, whereby the wheelchair user is pushed by a carer, friend or family member with the rear handles. You must check for compatibility before transport and do not just presume your wheelchair model is compatible.
Is it safe to use my wheelchair in a vehicle?
If your wheelchair has been declared as safe by the manufacturer and the transport you are using is fitted with the capability of carrying a passenger seated within a wheelchair, then it should be safe. This is subject to the wheelchair being fitted correctly to all of the anchor points and that the user is wearing a suitable 3 point seatbelt. Please note a Wheelchair lap belt is not a suitable seatbelt for use in a vehicle.
Taxi companies and ambulance staff should all be suitably trained on securing a wheelchair into their vehicle as they are responsible for the safety of their passengers, and will ensure you are secure before departing. If you are unsure then please don’t be afraid to ask the driver or enquire when booking a taxi if they are trained to carry and secure wheelchair passengers.
At Ableworld we stock a range of wheelchairs in our stores, many of which have been crash tested and feature the anchor logo. If you are unsure whether the wheelchair you own is crash tested please do not hesitate to contact the store which you purchased it from.
To view all of our wheelchairs online please visit our category page here. For additional information about the wheelchairs we sell, or for a free demonstration please pop into your local store and our fully trained staff can answer any concerns you may have.
- September 2021