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Getting in and Out of a Vehicle

PMC  July 10, 2015    pmc  Jeff Conner

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Many mobility-challenged people still need, or prefer, to be able to travel by car or truck either as a driver or a passenger. Luckily, the art and science of vehicle conversion has come a long way in recent years and these individuals have a wide range of choices when it comes outfitting an automobile, truck, or van with the necessary accommodations.

Picking both the right type of vehicle and the best kind of conversion depends on many factors. Perhaps the most important is determining the nature and extent of someone’s mobility challenges. Some disabled drivers who are able to get around without a wheelchair may also be able to get by with less than a fully-converted, wheelchair-accessible van. For these individuals, simply purchasing a sedan or coupe with a low and accessible seat height may be sufficient.

However, individuals with greater mobility challenges should definitely consider a vehicle equipped with seating that allows safe and easy access and egress. Several types are available. A turnout chair provides trouble-free access to vehicles that are lower to the ground. The seat rotates about 90 degrees and slides out a few inches over the doorsill. Once it is occupied it can be moved back to its original interior position for travel. Reversing the procedure allows a driver or passenger to exit the vehicle, safely. A turnout seat can be either manually or electronically controlled.

The next level up in this department is a turnout seat that not only rotates, but also can recline slightly for extra headroom, while it lowers toward the ground, just outside the car. Finally, there are rotating chairs that can come completely out of a vehicle and then lower towards the ground. They, too, can be electronically controlled either with a hand control unit, or power buttons installed within the seat or car door.

Other adaptation options include wheelchair lifts, hand controls, and mechanized lifts, called “curbsiders,” that can be fitted into the rear of a truck or van in order to load or unload a motorized scooter.

Before considering what type of vehicle adaptation is the right one for you, you should always consult an expert in the field. Here at Pacific Mobility we have the experience and expertise to help you select the most appropriate conversion or adaptation for your mobility challenges that will both suit your needs and fit within your budget. Call us today for a free consultation.

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