How Do You Choose Wheelchair Restraints?

Do you get frustrated by the amount of time that it takes to connect a wheelchair to the wheelchair restraints? Wheelchair restraints hold a wheelchair in place while being transported in a vehicle, but the restraints are not always easy to connect and can consume quite a bit of time at both ends of the journey. Of course, you could allow more time to lock the wheelchair into the vehicle and free it at the end of the journey, but who has time to waste? The problem can be especially acute if you are transporting multiple wheelchairs or must make several trips in a short period.

Why use wheelchair restraints?

If you are struggling to cope with locking and unlocking wheelchair restraints, you might be tempted to manage without them. Perhaps you could ask the person in the wheelchair to hold on to the side of the vehicle or just apply the wheelchair brakes and drive carefully. While that might seem like a good idea, it's a serious risk. You don't know what will happen during the journey. You may have to turn a corner sharply or brake suddenly. If you happen to be hit by another vehicle, the wheelchair could tip over, injuring the occupant and other people. It is far better to look for wheelchair restraints that can be quickly operated rather than risk travelling without them.

Which wheelchair restraints do you need?

The first characteristic of any restraints to think about is whether they will fit into your vehicle. Think about whether you have space in the vehicle for wheelchair restraints that will probably stay fixed permanently in the vehicle. Once you have determined the location of your new wheelchair restraints, you can pick whatever style of restraints best suits your needs. If manual restraints are too slow, why not consider a retractor restraint system instead? Automatic retractor systems are far quicker to operate than manual tie-down restraints, saving you valuable minutes on every journey. You could also look at wheelchair restraint systems that can be unlocked using a button on the vehicle dashboard or by the wheelchair user without assistance from anyone else. Either of these options will reduce the amount of time that the driver needs to spend struggling to loosen tie-downs and wheeling the chair out of the vehicle.

If you aren't sure whether a particular type of restraint would work in your situation, you can always ask to examine the restraint or even see it in action before making a final decision.