Types of Wheelchair Securement

Written by scott cornell
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Types of Wheelchair Securement
Improper securing of wheelchairs on buses could lead to severe injury. (wheelchair space image by Shirley Hirst from Fotolia.com)

The improper securing of wheelchair passengers on moving vehicles is a leading cause of wheelchair accidents. Although these accidents are typically uncommon, they could lead to live-changing injury. Because of this, wheelchairs must be properly secured on forms of public transportation, such as buses. There are several technologies that public-transportation systems use to accomplish this.

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Tie-downs are typically retractable and work somewhat like a seat belt in that they can be adjusted accordingly to comply with every wheelchair to keep passengers secure. They are found on buses and other forms of public transportation in wheelchair-specific areas. There are usually four sets of tie-downs to secure the four corners of the chair.

Docking Systems

Another common wheelchair restraint technology found in public transportation is docking stations. According to Mobility Works, docking stations are just as dependable as the manual tie-downs, but more convenient. That's because wheelchairs simply need to match their bottom brackets into the docking station to secure it. An electronic module then validates that the chair is locked into place. It's a much quicker securing technique than tie-downs.


Ratchet clamps work similar to tie-downs except they secure the wheelchair frame from underneath -- not outside -- the wheelchair. These clamps are mounted into the floors of transportation services and then loosened with a special lever to adjust to a wheelchair frame. These clamps suit a wide range of wheelchair models and don't take up as much space as conventional tie-downs.

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