Transportation Safety Standards for Wheelchair Users: A Review of Voluntary Standards for Improved Safety, Usability, and Independence of Wheelchair-Seated TravelersBy Schneider, Lawrence W.; Manary, Miriam A.; Hobson, Douglas A.; Bertocci, Gina E.; Assistive Technology, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 222-233
Publication Date: Winter 2008
Article describes existing and future voluntary standards for the securement of wheelchair-seated occupants traveling in motor vehicles. In the absence of adequate government safety standards, voluntary standards, known as WC19s, have been developed for aftermarket wheelchair tiedown and occupant restraint systems (WTORS) and for wheelchairs used as seats in vehicles. Current voluntary standards aim to provide wheelchair users with equipment that complies with basic principles of occupant crash protection, is comparable in crash performance to manufacturer-installed seats and belt restraints compliant with federal safety standards, and can be used in all types and sizes of motor vehicles. The standard requires four accessible, crash-tested securement points on wheelchairs so they can be secured using a four-point strap-type tie-down system. Riders are secured facing forward in the vehicle with upper- and lower-torso belt-type restraints. Efforts for future standard development include (1) test methods and performance criteria for evaluating dynamic seatback strength in rear impacts; (2) independent evaluation of wheelchair seating systems for use in motor vehicles by installing the seating system on a surrogate wheelchair base (SWCB) for testing; (3) specifications for universal docking interface geometry (UDIG) on wheelchairs; and (4) design and performance requirements for rear-facing wheelchair passenger stations (RF-WPSs) on large intracity buses.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)