As the population continues to increase exponentially in the UK and throughout the western world, so too does the number of active wheelchair users.
In Britain alone, there are around 1.2 million users at present, with an estimated two-thirds of these described as using their wheelchair on a regular basis.
Fortunately, the technology now exists to modify homes and vehicles to improve the quality of life of those in a wheelchair. In this post, we’ll look at how cars can be modified to accommodate wheelchair users across the board.
Allied Mobility is a market leader in the field of modified vehicles, with this brand leading the way in terms of accessibility changes and upgrades.
At the heart of this is an innovative EasyGlide wheelchair ramp, which simply pulls-out from the rear floor of a vehicle to provide a robust and low-gradient ramp.
It also has the capacity to be easily folded upwards and behind a wheelchair passenger or down into the boot floor, depending on the vehicle in question and the specific needs of the user.
This type of system offers comfort and accessibility for wheelchair users, while creating flexibility across a number of different vehicle types and models.
2. Seating Options
If you look at popular cars such as the Ford Freedom, you’ll see that the best wheelchair-accessible vehicles are essentially modified SUVs.
This affords plenty of space in which modifications can be made, while enabling users to create room for their wheelchair and additional passengers.
In the case of the Freedom, this vehicle can accommodate a driver, wheelchair passengers and up to four additional passengers, each of whom can travel in comfort across any conceivable distance.
Of course, wheelchair-accessible vehicles have less seats than a standard SUV once they’ve been modified, but the ergonomic design and layout of these vehicles optimises the sense of space overall.
3. Modified Primary and Secondary Driving Controls
Some modified cars will also feature a range of accessible driving control adaptations, relating to a number of primary and secondary functions.
These represent pivotal modifications, as they afford wheelchair users the ultimate freedom and enable them to drive vehicles freely and safely.
The range of modifications here is huge, and include examples such as simple hand controls and adapted accelerators to drive-by wire systems that overcome numerous barriers to driving.
It’s even possible to have a range of secondary controls modified too, which makes it far easier for drivers to operate their indicators and similarly important features.