Wheelchair Vans Crash Test Provides Vital Safety Information

wheelchair vans with advanced safety technologies

wheelchair vans with advanced safety technologies

Wheelchair Vans Crash Test Provides Vital Safety Information


Knowing how safe your car or one in which you ride would be in a crash, may save your life or save you from serious injuries. If you are seated in a wheelchair, then knowing the results of wheelchair vans crash test is even more important to you.

Wheelchair-Vehicle Interface

The interface with vehicle-wheelchairs pertains to how adaptable your car is from a safety perspective to your wheelchair, taking into consideration stability, convenience and safety as test factors.

You will also want to know how your wheelchair would fair in a crash test, to be sure that the chair or the van is as safe as possible.

ANSI and RESNA Standards

When wheelchairs meet the performance and design criteria put forth by the ANSI–American National Standards Institute–and the RESNA–the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Techology Society of North America, they are then identified as WC19. That designation tells that they were designed for use in a vehicle and passed rigorous testing.

The wheelchairs have four points for securing the chair quickly and easily with tie-downs. The goal is to make it convenient for your caregiver or yourself to follow the latest and safest procedures to ensure stability and safety when using the wheelchair as a seat in handicap vans,  or another vehicle.

WC19 Wheelchairs

If any wheelchair meets the standards of the WC19 testing, it has five advantages beyond wheelchairs that have not met the testing standards.

  • 1. The chair has enough strength to offer protection for you in various kinds of crashes. It must remain secure and stable during the crash, to keep you (or the crash dummy during testing) inside the vehicle. The frame must not crack, and the seat must be firm and supportive.
  • 2.  The WC19 wheelchair must be easy to use in a vehicle adapted for it, such as the “wheelchair van” or the “wheelchair car.”
  • 3.  In order to be able to use the tie-downs one-handed in less than ten seconds, the points of securement must be clearly marked and accessible.
  • 4.  The standards require manufacturers to report the measurement of lateral stability once the wheelchair is loaded and tilted to a forty-five degree angle. This will mean the vehicle has greater stability.
  • 5.  A wheelchair that has earned WC19 designation has more compatibility with seatbelts and results in a better fit with shoulder and lap belts.

When riding in wheelchair vans or handicap vans, be sure that your chair meets the wheelchair vans crash test, and that you are secured in a wheelchair that is WC19 compliant.



  • Rehabilitation Technology (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, P.L 93-112) The term “rehabilitation technology” means the systematic application of technologies, engineering methodologies, or scientific principles to meet the needs of and address the barriers confronted by individuals with disabilities in areas which include education, rehabilitation, employment, transportation, independent living, and recreation. The term includes rehabilitation engineering, assistive technology devices, and assistive technology services.
  • Rehabilitation Engineering (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, P.L. 93-112) The term rehabilitation engineering means “the systematic application of engineering sciences to design, develop, adapt, test, evaluate, apply, and distribute technological solutions to problems confronted by individuals with disabilities in functional areas, such as mobility, communications, hearing, vision, and cognition, and in activities associated with employment, independent living, education, and integration into the community.”
  • Assistive Technology (Assistive Technology Act of 2004, P.L. 108-364) The term ‘assistive technology’ means technology designed to be utilized in an assistive technology device or assistive technology service.
  • Assistive Technology Device (Assistive Technology Act of 2004, P.L. 108-364) The term ‘assistive technology device’ means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
  • Assistive Technology Service (Assistive Technology Act of 2004, P.L. 108-364) The term ‘assistive technology service’ means any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. Such term includes—
    • The evaluation of the assistive technology needs of an individual with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the impact of the provision of appropriate assistive technology and appropriate services to the individual in the customary environment of the individual;
    • A service consisting of purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by individuals with disabilities;
    • A service consisting of selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, replacing, or donating assistive technology devices;
    • Coordination and use of necessary therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as therapies, interventions, or services associated with education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
    • Training or technical assistance for an individual with a disability or, where appropriate, the family members, guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives of such an individual;
    • Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education and rehabilitation services and entities that manufacture or sell assistive technology devices), employers, providers of employment and training services, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of individuals with disabilities;
    • A service consisting of expanding the availability of access to technology, including electronic and information technology, to individuals with disabilities.
  • Universal Design (Assistive Technology Act of 2004, P.L. 108-364) The term universal design means a concept or philosophy for designing and delivering products and services that are usable by people with the widest possible range of functional capabilities, which include products and services that are directly accessible (without requiring assistive technologies) and products and services that are interoperable with assistive technologies.

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