Transportation is a major issue for wheelchair users in this country and it is something that the automotive industry needs to recognise. Unfortunately, public transpiration is not particularly accessible and can be both expensive and unreliable. This means that many wheelchair users rely on a family member, friend or carer to drive them. For many wheelchair users, being independent and getting out the house is incredibly important, but this can be near impossible for some.
Whilst there are those that struggle to get around, the disability sector benefits greatly from the superb Motability Scheme. This program allows recipients of certain benefits to use this money towards leasing an electric scooter or wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV). This scheme provides a great sense of freedom and independence to those with mobility issues and can take all the stress out of arranging travel whether it is to the local shops or to visit family out of town.
Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
Wheelchair accessible vehicles are hugely important in the disabled sector as they can transform lives. These adapted vehicles utilise either a ramp or electric lift so that the wheelchair user can easily access the vehicle (which is tall enough so that they can enter in their wheelchair). In some cases, the wheelchair user can then be strapped in whilst in the wheelchair, or the chair is secured, and they can use one of the seats inside. In some cases, these impressive automobiles can be driven be the wheelchair user also.
As they are large automobiles, WAVs are also fantastic for families as you can carry multiple passengers and there is plenty of space for storage. These vehicles, and similar ones for the disability sector, are available from specialists like Allied Fleet. Companies like this are doing a huge amount for the disability industry and changing the lives of many, but it is important that more is done to provide mobility to those that are currently unable to get around.
One way that the automotive industry could support the disability sector would be to develop adapted or wheelchair accessible automobiles that are mass produced by the major manufacturers. This would make them better, more affordable and easier to find. Technology has advanced at a rapid rate in the auto industry in recent times, so there are improvements that could be made to make these vehicles even better for wheelchair users.
With the rise of electric vehicles, it is possible that WAVs and other adapted automobiles could be electrified in the near future. However, this could be a challenge as larger automobiles will require greater power and larger batteries, which would drive up the cost of the vehicle. Additionally, autonomous driving is on the horizon and this could have an enormous impact on the disability sector. Driverless cars would mean that those who are unable to drive could still travel long distances with ease, proving great independence and freedom to this group.
It is vital that the automotive industry recognises the importance of mobility for wheelchair users and those with a disability. Whilst the current vehicles are helping many, there is still a lot that could be done to provide reliable, safe and easy transport for all.