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Safe travel in your wheelchair

RICA provides a useful guide about safety for wheelchair users on public transport.

Travelling in a road vehicle carries a risk for everyone despite the use of safety designed car seat and compulsory seatbelts. People with disabilities seated in wheelchairs inside a vehicle are at even greater risk.

The safest way to travel is to transfer from the wheelchair to a seat in the vehicle. However, if this is not possible, the next best option is a “crash tested” wheelchair, whether manual or powered, together with a suitable “wheelchair tie-down and occupant restraint system” or WTORS.

Manufacturers should give clear information on whether their products should or should not be used whilst occupied in a vehicle. If they can be used occupied in a vehicle then the manufacturer should give sufficient detail on how it should be
done. This should include guidance on the type or model of wheelchair tie-down and occupant restraint system (WTORS) that they recommend. This information could be available from either a wheelchair or a WTORS manufacturer.
If this information is not available from either manufacturer, then please report it to MHRA (responsible for the regulation of medicines and medical devices) who will investigate. Telephone 020 3080 6000.

Unwin Safety Systems have a database which holds details of many UK manufactured wheelchairs. Their online wheelchair guide can give you guidance on which type of WTORS is appropriate for each chair.

Last reviewed: 21/04/2016

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