Very few people have ever experienced the world of the disabled person confined to a wheelchair. An individual that has been forced to live their life in the confines of a wheel chair finds many public places inaccessible. Can you imagine the problem of being confined to your home with no access to the outside world? Many people in wheelchairs never travel beyond the confines of their own dwelling. Many places in the business sector have made changes over the years to allow access to their establishment. However many have not. Strangely enough some of these business' that have not made alterations include doctor offices, restaurants, and malls.
Many of those that suffer from disabilities have discovered the wheelchair van or handicap van to help increase mobility. These vans are now allowing disabled people of all ages to regain access to society. Wheelchair vans allow entire families with a disabled sibling to travel as if they would normally. The new versions of these vehicles allow the person in the wheelchair to enter the vehicle either through the side access or through the rear access. Mini vans have become the industry standard when being converted for disability use. Years ago most mobility vehicles were the bulky and difficult to drive full size vans. This vehicle is not used much any more as personal vehicle due to skyrocketing fuel prices.
Mini vans are not only more fuel efficient but are much easier to drive in high traffic areas. In most cases the mini vans face an extreme conversion process which includes lowering the floor anywhere from eight to twelve inches. The interior of the mini van is completely removed. The van then faces many cutting processes and strengthening. The frame in the lowered floor area is completely replaced. The actual replaced floor is much stronger than the preexisting floor from the van manufacturer. There is an anchoring system installed for the wheelchair. The van is then reassembled to look much like the original vehicle. In fact you have to look twice if you see one going down road.
Due to the relocation of the fuel tank performed by most wheelchair van manufactures the vans must face rigorous crash testing to meet all federal requirements. Side, front, and rear crash testing must be completed by a third party testing facility. No untested wheelchair vans will ever touch the road with out federal approval.
The two most prominent types of wheelchair vans are the side entry van and the rear entry van. The rear entry van allows for parking in normal areas and does not require a handicap parking place like the side entry vans require. The rear entry wheelchair van maintains a much higher ground clearance than the rear entry van. The benefit of this is in the areas of the country that have heavier snowfalls and mountainous roads. The final and most important factor is that the frame is not cut as it is on the side entry models. This lends to a longer vehicle service life and easier driving. No matter what your van choice is, it makes living in the world of disabilities much easier and coping with society a more enjoyable experience.