What is a Drive from Wheelchair Conversion?
A Drive from Wheelchair Conversion is a specialized vehicle modification that empowers individuals using wheelchairs to operate a vehicle without needing to transfer to a standard driver's seat. This transformative adaptation involves securing the wheelchair safely within the vehicle using an automated wheelchair locking system and customizing the vehicle with tailored driving adjustments to cater to the specific needs of the user. Notably, the vehicle is equipped with fully automated features, including a tailgate or side-sliding door and a ramp, ensuring a seamless and independent driving experience.
How Does this Conversion Differ from Other Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs)?
Many Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) are primarily designed for the wheelchair user to be a passenger, usually positioned in the rear of the vehicle. In contrast, a Drive from Wheelchair Conversion offers the unique capability of enabling the wheelchair user to drive while remaining seated in their wheelchair. This eliminates the need for transferring to a traditional driver's seat, providing unparalleled independence and convenience.
Entering and Exiting a Drive from Wheelchair Vehicle:
Drive from Wheelchair vehicles are meticulously designed with automated entry and exit mechanisms for user convenience. For instance, the VW Drive Conversion facilitates rear entry and features a fully automated tailgate and ramp, powered by a hydraulic system. Conversely, the Ford Drive/Upfront model boasts an automated side-sliding door and a powered ramp, ensuring effortless access.
To utilize a Drive from Wheelchair vehicle safely, it is essential to employ a crash-tested electric wheelchair that adheres to safety standards and can be securely fastened in place. Various wheelchair models can be accommodated in the driver's position, and our mobility specialists can offer guidance over the phone and during your complimentary home demonstration. Prior to the demonstration, you will be asked to measure your seated head height to ensure adequate visibility through the windshield.
Securing the Wheelchair:
Achieving independent travel necessitates the use of an automatic wheelchair locking system to firmly secure the wheelchair in place. Typically, this involves attaching a pin or spigot to the underside of the wheelchair, which connects to the docking station on the vehicle's floor. It's important to note that fitting this system to your wheelchair may reduce its ground clearance, and our mobility specialists will provide tailored advice to meet your specific requirements.
Take a look at one of our Drive From Vehicles in this video. See how it looks and functions to create a smooth, seamless and independant driving experience for wheelchair users.