One of the main benefits of public transportation is that it is generally accommodating for those with limited mobile capabilities. As such, all involved in the transportation industry need to be properly equipped to accommodate wheelchair-bound passengers. Along with needing specialized vehicles for the job, their drivers must all be informed on the proper ways to board these individuals. To ensure all your passengers are taken care of, make sure you learn some of the best practices for loading and unloading wheelchair passengers.
Be Mindful of the Lift When Parking the Vehicle
For the lift to be most effective, it’s crucial that the vehicle is on level ground and that the wheelchair passenger has ample space to maneuver themselves. As such, each driver needs to know how to position their vehicle to provide optimal safety. This involves avoiding uneven ground when parking, being aware of traffic patterns, and taking note of how much space there is for the lift to move.
Go Over Pre-Boarding Procedures
Before a wheelchair passenger can be boarded, it’s also important that the driver performs the proper pre-boarding procedures. This process requires them to ensure the wheelchair itself is in good condition and that it’s compatible with the vehicle’s specific lift. If the chair isn’t meeting the standards, the passenger won’t be allowed to board until it’s fixed.
Board in Teams of Two
To ensure the best loading and unloading experience for the passenger, it’s recommended that this process include two individuals rather than one—the driver and a helper. While the helper guides the passenger onto the lift, the driver is responsible for operating it and ensuring that the individual is properly secured to the vehicle. This is the safest way to help a wheelchair passenger board, as it lessens the risk involved by having two parties watching for dangers.
Secure Wheelchair to Lift and Vehicle
When lifting the passenger into the vehicle, as well as once they’re positioned inside, it’s also best practice to secure them in place with specialized equipment. This will keep the wheelchair from rolling off the platforms and causing injuries. Typically, there are four tie-down straps that get wrapped around each of the wheels, and they should be used any time the lift or bus is in motion.
At Schetky Bus and Van Sales, we don’t just set out to supply you with buses and vans. Rather, we aim to provide each of our customers with the right vehicles for their needs. From regulation school buses to handicap buses, our stock contains various vehicles for you to choose from. This way, we can best serve you, and you can best serve your passengers.