Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Understanding Handicap Vans and Their Features
Handicap vans are more than just a vehicle; these wheelchair accessible vehicles offer freedom and independence. All too often, someone who uses a wheelchair can feel dependent upon friends and family to help them get from place to place. With handicap vans, you can go where you need to go when you want to, without having to wait for someone else. Beyond wheelchair lifts, ramps and restraints, many people are not aware just how much can be customized in wheelchair vans.Today's handicap accessible vans offer disabled drivers and passengers greater accommodations than other vehicles can. These vehicles are highly customizable and can meet just about any needs required. Choose between new accessible vans, used vans with new conversions, or pre-owned handicap vans with used conversions Buying used wheelchair vans with a new conversion means you save the depreciation that occurs with new vehicles that often lose 5k or more when driven off the lot, and they still have the remaining factory vehicle warranty along with a new ramp conversion warranty and additional conversion floor pan warranty.Many individuals who use a wheelchair need an accessible van to transport themselves, their wheelchair, other passengers and items like groceries. In order to facilitate this, there are many options for customization of used vans, including side and rear entry wheelchair accessible vans for sale. Side entry handicap accessible vans are great for wheelchair passengers who would like to sit in the middle of the handicap van, up front alongside the driver, or even drive the wheelchair van through the use of a transfer seat. Side entry wheelchair vans are also easy with parallel parking spots. Rear entry vans allow for up to 2 wheelchair users in the back of the minivan, depending on the model, and do well with parking without having to ever worry about acquiring a handicapped parking spot.Sometimes it is easy to forget that some people who need handicap vans may require more than just assistance getting their wheelchair into a vehicle or restraining it during travel. Hand controls can be installed in side entry vans and used with a transfer seat to allow a person who uses a wheelchair to drive a handicap accessible van. Hand controls allow the driver to use the accelerator and the brake from positions near the steering wheel instead of using the pedals. Hand controls can be installed on vans and minivans by a company that does wheelchair van customization.While some handicap vans allow you to roll a wheelchair into place behind the driver's wheel, they are not usually designed with your safety in mind. When looking to drive from a wheelchair, ask the wheelchair van dealer if they cut the rocker panel when converting a van for accessibility. Rocker panels are part of the frame of the minivan designed to help protect the driver in a crash. Often wheelchair accessible van dealers will take out this valuable safety device in order to create enough space in the driver area for a wheelchair.Other styles of handicap vans that allow a wheelchair van driver feature a transfer seat that assists the driver in moving from his or her wheelchair into the driver's seat. Frequently these types of seats not only turn but move back from the wheel to give you space to maneuver. When you are fully seated, the seat easily moves back into the proper position to drive safely.