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QuickTime Videos: Wheelchair Crash Testing

Wheelchair Securement

All four straps are needed to secure the wheelchair to the floor of a vehicle. This method is most often used in transit buses, paratransit buses, school buses and in personally-owned vans. It works well in these settings because the straps work with many types and styles of wheelchairs. The standard for testing the strength of the securement of the wheelchair to the floor of the vehicle with straps or a docking system is comparable to the standard used for testing the attachment of a car or bus seat to the frame of the vehicle.

The objective of 4-point securement is to attach the straps to the wheelchair frame just below the combined center of mass of the wheelchair and it's occupant. The angles from the floor to the wheelchair are carefully defined within the standard so that they stabilize the chair and prevent tipping, rotation and forward movement.

It is important to use all 4 straps. Some bus drivers, transit aids or passengers might consider attaching only the straps that are the easiest to reach. Not using all 4 straps places too much of a load on the straps that are used and may also lead to tipping.

The following videos show various scenarios such as failing to use securement or using only one front and one rear strap. The final video shows the use of all 4 straps.

Not Using 4-point wheelchair securement.
This is a 30mph frontal impact test of an unsecured and unoccupied surrogate wheelchair.

Using only 2 out of 4 straps in a 4-point wheelchair securement system.
This is a 30mph frontal impact test of an unoccupied surrogate wheelchair with only 2 tiedown straps attached to one side of the wheelchair.

Using all 4 straps in a 4-point wheelchair securement system.
This is a 30mph frontal impact test of an unoccupied surrogate wheelchair secured by four tiedown straps.


See the next page of videos

Last Updated: July 13, 2009

Acknowledgement:

Department of Education, Washington DC
This Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Wheelchair Transportation Safety
is funded by NIDRR grant #H133E060064

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