Accessible Vehicle Checklist and Dimension Guide for Driver Evaluators
When helping make the right wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) selection for your client, most decisions come down to two factors: driveability and maneuverability.
What Makes a DriveAble WAV?
A safe and comfortable driving experience in a wheelchair accessible vehicle depends on a few key design choices. BraunAbility keeps these requirements top-of-mind when designing mobility products for the independent drivers, such as:
- Extra width behind the steering wheel to allow wheelchairs of all sizes to comfortably operate the steering wheel and other driving controls
- Ample length in the foot pan to allow wheelchairs of all sizes to sit comfortably and safely behind the steering wheel
- Switches and controls placed within comfortable reach of the driver
- Armrests that rotate out of the way for easier transfers but can still be used for support when needed
What Makes a WAV ManeuverAble?
When it comes to wheelchair accessible vehicles, every inch is a mile, and that’s especially true for drivers. BraunAbility prioritizes space where it matters most in each WAV we build. Here are the critical dimensions to consider:
- Ramp Width – Obviously, if the ramp isn’t wide enough for your client,no other dimension matters!
- Doorway Width and Height – Too often, these dimensions are overlooked, but they’re critical to comfortable entries and exits. Even if the wheels fit comfortably on the ramp, there are components of the wheelchair that extend out further than the base of the wheelchair. It’s important to look for WAVs that offer a wide and tall doorway.
- Interior Cabin Space – Every extra inch allows for easier entries and exits out of a vehicle, which adds up to valuable time for your client. A spacious cabin saves scuff marks, seconds and headaches. Space Behind Steering Wheel – Both width and length behind the steering wheel are critical to ensure drivers can safely position themselves behind the wheel in a way that feels centered and safe.