Choosing the Right Mobility Experts
Mobility equipment should perform three major functions for the people who use it.
- Maximize daily independence and freedom for those of all mobility levels
- Keep you and everyone in your vehicle safe and
- Complete the first two functions with reliability for years to come.
Having the right type of equipment installed in a wheelchair accessible vehicle can not only transform your life with added mobility and independence, but it can also prevent serious injuries caused by standard highway equipment. Having an accessible vehicle custom-built to fit your needs as a person with a disability or dedicated caregiver makes all the difference when it comes to safety and security while on the road.
Unfortunately, not all mobility equipment is created equal. There are hundreds of mobility solutions on the market which can appear to save consumers money. Too often this comes with a hidden cost of sacrificing safety, reliability, or maximum accessibility. Fortunately, when armed with the right information, you can have peace of mind in your investment in a mobility vehicle.
So how do you ensure you are choosing the right accessible vehicle experts?
Choosing the Right Mobility Experts
Be especially wary of Internet-only products, with no brick-and-mortar location. Unfortunately, pop-up shops, looking to make a quick buck with little expertise, are all too common online. It is extremely difficult for a consumer to verify the legitimacy of a fully online source. It is also nearly impossible to complete a proper assessment of a client’s mobility needs remotely to ensure they end up with the right product.
Safety Standards You Can Rely On
When selecting a dealership or maintenance provider, ensure that they are a NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealer Association) QAP (Quality Assurance Program) certified provider. Read on to see the difference these accreditations make.
National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association: Awards conversion companies with exceptional quality, performance and reliability metrics with the Quality Assurance Program accreditation.
Quality Assurance Program: Ensures companies maintain certified vehicle technicians, up-to-date tooling, pass an annual audit, and maintain adherence to a series of rules and guidelines protecting the safety of customers.
Ensures products manufactured and distributed by NMEDA Manufacturer members either meet or exceed current government safety requirements. Participants are held to extremely high standards of consumer safety and product quality.
These standards offer peace of mind knowing that the products you purchase are safe and reliable and the technicians installing the product have been properly trained. You are guaranteed expert attention to help you find the right mobility vehicle or accessible solutions for your needs.
To further ensure your safety, NMEDA has developed the Compliance Review Program. Third-party engineers test and verify that manufacturers’ products meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety regulations.
Why Safety Accreditation Matters in Mobility
Product manufacturers, dealerships, and repair and maintenance technicians operate as a team to ensure outstanding end results. NMEDA’s standards above ensure a quality product through the entire process. Why is that important?
Here are a few examples:
The highest quality product can’t operate properly if:
- It isn’t installed correctly.
- Isn’t the right product for your mobility needs.
- Isn’t maintained well over time.
On the other hand, if the product isn’t of the highest quality:
- The most knowledgeable product expert can’t feel confident that they are providing a successful solution.
- An expert installation can’t ensure safety or reliability.
Quality and reliability must flow through the entire system, as a whole. NMEDA members and QAP-certified partners ensure quality from start to finish.
Proof of Safety Is in the Stories
To help illustrate the importance of selecting the right mobility vehicle dealership and maintenance provider, read Norm’s story below.
Norm Ohlde is a Veteran who uses a power wheelchair. He purchased his Chrysler Town & Country wheelchair van through a NMEDA and QAP-certified dealership. While Norm was running an errand, a drunk driver crossed into his lane and hit his vehicle head-on, with Norm and his caretaker Teresa inside.
Norm’s van was totaled. His wheelchair was damaged, but because of Teresa’s quick thinking and steering toward the guard rail, the brunt of the impact hit the driver’s side. Both Norm and Teresa survived the crash. Norm called his local dealership even before the EMS workers had arrived to see if they could put him in a wheelchair van rental. His chair was completely secure with the EZ-Lock system.
But Norm’s story could have ended much differently. Norm’s choice of a certified dealer ensured that:
- He had the right product to secure his specific wheelchair for travel at high speeds.
- The securement system he was depending on was manufactured under strict quality and reliability standards.
- The securement was expertly installed in his vehicle.
His diligence in choosing the right dealership and service provider may literally have saved his life.
Proceed With Confidence
When shopping for mobility equipment, due diligence can be as simple as asking a couple of questions before you purchase:
Is the product tested for safety and reliability?
Is the dealer where you are purchasing the equipment QAP certified?
BraunAbility is both QAP and MQAP certified. To find your closest BraunAbility dealership, visit our Dealer Finder or call our Customer Care line at 1-800-488-0359. Contact us to get started on the road to mobility and independence you can rely on from start to finish for years to come.