The safest way for an adult to travel in a car is seated in a car seat wearing a seat belt. However, getting into the seat can seem difficult or even impossible for some. There are of course a number of useful aids that will enable you, both as driver and passenger, to enjoy the ride in the comfort of a car seat.
Both of these brings the seat closer to you. The swivel seats by rotating the seat so that the front is pointing towards the door opening. This also makes the seat protrude a little over the sill of the car. Seat lifts bring the entire seat out of the car and lower it to the desired height on the outside. The transfer is completely unobstructed. Once in the seat you will be lifted into the car by the seat lift.
As a rule of thumb, swivel seats are suitable for low built cars such as sedans while seat lifts are more suitable for high built cars like SUVs. As with all adaptation solutions, what's best for you depends on your needs and abilities.
This is a solution that enables you to transfer from wheelchair to car seat, without even having to move your butt. All you do is remain seated and let your caregiver push you and the wheelchair seat into the car. Once the transfer is over you are no longer sitting in a wheelchair but in the passenger seat of your car. A safe and secure position, where you can use the car's standard seat belt. You'll also have a great view and the best conditions for a conversation with the driver and other passengers.
A transfer wheelchair is typically made up from three parts: a wheelchair wheelbase, the seat and a swivel seat or seat lift in the car.
This is an extension of the seat sideways or a bridge to your wheelchair. It gives you a few centimetres more to make the transfer easier or standing up/sitting down if you’re not a wheelchair user. Transfer plates or sliding boards as they are also known, are usually located to the side of the seat. After use, they fold away or detach completely.
If the difference in height between the car seat and wheelchair is too big, the solution could be a lift up plate. Just like a sliding board, it gives you a few extra inches to sit on, but it can also lower or lift you as needed. In other words, the transfer will not only be shorter but also more level.
Sometimes you adapt the seat itself to provide posture support, pressure relief or improve seating comfort. Furthermore, it's possible to dress the adapted seat with upholstery matching the interior of your car.
Customizations in this category can come in many forms. For example, cushions and fatigue support that give you increased comfort and better seating. You can also get support in the form of a grip to hold when you get out of the car. On the car's exterior, you can fit several points to hold as you move around the car.
Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest articles on car adaptation for disabilities.
Sign up here
If you use any kind of mobility aid, there's the issue of getting it into the car.
Foot pedals became the standard way of driving over a century ago. Fortunately, you can change this.
Go to LEARN section