Adapting Vehicles For Powerchairs

A Powerchair

If you choose to get a powerchair, you access a greater level of autonomy and the ability to travel long distances independently. There are several factors that you need to consider if you want to get the most out of your powerchair, such as battery life and storage. A big consideration for many people is how they will transport their powerchair in order to give themselves the freedom to travel further afield than their local area.

There are over 400 potential adaptations that can be made to a vehicle in order to make it easier for you to get around. These range from steering assistance to ramps and include many variations that are specifically designed for powerchairs from suppliers like Karma Mobility.

Storage

There are 3 places where wheelchairs are stored in a vehicle – on the roof, in the body of the vehicle or in the boot. The roof is impractical for powerchair storage but some powerchairs will fit in the boot.

Weight is sometimes prohibitive when it comes to boot storage but there are a number of hoists available to help with this. These are designed to either assist with lifting the chair or take care of the whole process.

More commonly, powerchairs are stored within the body of the vehicle. If you need to get a bigger vehicle for this purpose, there are lease companies who specialise in the supply of cars for this purpose. Depending on the size of your powerchair, some seats may need to be removed. You can then have a ramp fitted to allow you to drive your powerchair directly into your vehicle.

Access

You may need to think about how you will access your vehicle if you are not able to stand at all. You can lift yourself into it if the driver’s seat is low enough. This is made easier with the help of a transfer plate. These can be manual or motorised depending on the amount of support that you need. Upper body strength is required to make this a feasible option.

Driving

Many people who use powerchairs have issues with the mobility of their legs, even when seated. There are many ways that automatic vehicles can be adapted to allow for manual control of the accelerator and brakes.