What Are the Different Types of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles? Definition, Meaning and Concept

There are several types of wheelchair accessible vehicles. Many of these can accommodate people in wheelchairs as passengers, but require someone else to drive. Some of these vehicles, however, can also accommodate a driver in a wheelchair. To achieve this, some modifications usually need to be made to the vehicles.

Wheelchair accessible vans are the vehicles most people think of when they hear about handicap accessible vehicles. These are often modified so that a disabled individual can easily enter the van. Ramps or lifts are usually attached to trucks to make this possible. These can be lowered and raised by hand or with a small motor.

Large conversion vans and smaller minivans can be converted to wheelchair accessible vehicles. With mini vans, wheelchair passengers usually enter from the side. Larger vans allow passengers to enter from the rear, which may be a little easier for some.

Buying or modifying wheelchair accessible vehicles can be quite expensive. Because of this, most towns and cities have wheelchair accessible vehicles available to the public. These buses or vans may travel around town on a designated route, or some services will go to a person's home to pick them up. These vehicles can often be rented for a small fee. Some organizations, such as churches or government agencies, may also provide access to these vehicles free of charge for low-income people.

With today's technology, people in wheelchairs are not just limited to being passengers in handicapped accessible vehicles. They may also drive certain vehicles. Of course, there are certain modifications that must be made to a vehicle before this is possible.

In wheelchair accessible cars and wheelchair accessible trucks, the driver's seats are often removed. This allows a wheelchair user to simply maneuver the wheelchair into the driver's position. However, some vehicles have seats that swivel, which makes it easier for a disabled person to get into them. In this case, there is usually an area to store and transport a wheelchair until you need it again.

Since a paraplegic does not typically use regular pedals on the floor, other modifications must be made as well. A joystick is the most common. This can be used for acceleration and sometimes steering.

Vans, cars and trucks are not the only type of wheelchair accessible vehicles available today. Disabled people can now even drive motorcycles. These often have three wheels instead of two, or may have a sidecar attached. Like other types of vehicles for the disabled, wheelchair accessible motorcycles are also operated using hand controls or joysticks.