It can go so terribly wrong - when using a wheelchair as a vehicle seat

We have selected some examples from our work with crash-testing and development of tie-down equipment and wheelchairs. The examples give a realistic picture of what can happen during a collision of 48-50 km/h.

These examples illustrate some of the many factors that can influence safety, may it be a positive or negative.

Our experience shows that 4 out of 5 wheelchairs do not pass, first time they are being crash-tested.

Test videos underline the necessity of testing wheelchairs, wheelchair tie-down equipment and occupant restraints in conjunction with each other, in order to give a full picture of the safety.


What can be done to improve safety and avoid the shown examples?

Demand that certain criteria be met for wheelchair and vehicle conversion

The issues involved can seem overwhelming, but it would contribute significantly to improving safety if all parties involved in the area take responsibility and work together. We know that from experience.
We all have the responsibility that wheelchairs and occupants will be securely tie-down in a vehicle. Demand the following documentation:

  • That the wheelchair is CE-labelled
  • That the securement points for tie-down straps be marked on the wheelchair
  • That a proper user instruction be supplied for wheelchair and tie-down equipment
  • That tie-down equipment has been tested and approved to relative standards
  • That the wheelchair has passed testing to ISO7176-19 or 10542-1 SWM (specific wheelchair model)

Prefer wheelchair manufactorers that can provide documentation over those who cannot.

With a higher degree of cooperation between wheelchair manufacturers, vehicle conversion companies and manufacturer of tie-down equipment, there will be a significantly positive effect on wheelchair safety.

As Dahl Engineering cooperates with all leading wheelchair manufacturers, we are able to supply documentation that our tiedown equipment works with specific wheelchairs. Please see list by clicking here.