SP-6a-c Support and Facilitate the Updating (a), Development (b), and Implementation (c) of Voluntary Standards for Improved Motor-Vehicle Transportation Safety of Wheelchair-Seated Occupants

Task leaders: Lawrence Schneider, PhD and Gina Bertocci, PhD

Co-investigators: Douglas Hobson, Ph.D.

Other participants: These tasks will involve the active participation of members of national and international standards activities, as well as those manufacturers, transportation providers, primary users, and clinicians who seek to implement the standards and use products and procedures that comply with these standards.

NOTE: The leadership of the proposed RERCoWTS feels strongly that the participation of primary users in standards development and implementation activities is critical and therefore plan to encourage, support, and sponsor the active participation one or more primary users in these activities.

Duration/Staging of task: The three tasks in this priority will all be conducted throughout the duration of the 60-month RERCoWTS program.

Design of research and development activities

Relevant Background and Literature Review

A discussion of the background that is relevant to the development of national and international standards for transit wheelchair and WTORS is described in the previous introduction to Priority 6. At the time of this proposal, the status of relevant standards was as indicated in the table below.

SP-6a – Updating of Existing Standards

As indicated in the table, by January 2002, two U.S. voluntary standards will have been completed for some time (six years for SAE J2249 and two years for ANSI/RESNA WC/19. Manufacturers will therefore have had a significant amount of experience designing and testing products to the methods and requirements of these standards, and primary users will also have experience using products that comply with these standards. All standards are routinely reviewed on a five-year cycle, and there will therefore be a need to update the methods and requirements of the standards according to these experiences.

Status of Current WTORS and Transit Wheelchair Standards (A table)

For example, over one-hundred sled impact tests of WTORS using the 85-kg surrogate wheelchair have been conducted since SAE J2249 was completed, and the data from these tests can be used to improve the wheelchair and crash-dummy forward excursion limits. In addition, at the time that SAE J2249 was developed, few if any wheelchairs had been designed for occupancy in a motor vehicle and none were considered to be suitable for anchoring occupant restraints to the wheelchair (i.e., for use with a wheelchair-integrated occupant restraint). Therefore, in the initial version of SAE J2249, WTORS with wheelchair-integrated occupant restraints that transfer occupant restraint loads to the wheelchair cannot be tested using the surrogate wheelchair, but must be tested with a specific production wheelchair. However, now that ANSI/RESNA WC/19 has been completed with the requirement that all transit wheelchair provide for the option of using a dynamically tested pelvic belt by May 2002, SAE J2249 should be modified to allow WTORS with integrated, or partially integrated (e.g., only pelvic belt anchors to wheelchair), restraints to be tested using the surrogate wheelchair.

Although ANSI/RESNA WC/19 will only have been in existence for two years by May 2002, the completion of ISO 7176/19 has revealed areas where changes may be needed prior to the standard five-year revision cycle. For example, in the frontal-impact test of a wheelchair, it is required that the wheelchair seatback not allow the test dummy to rebound more than 400 mm during the test or to be reclined more than 45 degrees at the completion of the test. While these criteria appear to have worked well in all tests conducted at UMTRI, the experience in the United Kingdom has been quite different, partially due to differences in the manner in which the dummies legs are limited in forward and upward motion during testing. In the UMTRI tests, movement of the feet and legs is often limited by a padded sled bolster in a manner that does not reduce loading on the wheelchair, and that is probably representative of most real-world in-vehicle configurations. In much of the testing in the UK, the feet and legs of the crash dummy have allowed to move forward and upward without restriction. Also, in the UK tests, the rebound of the crash dummy from forward loading into the occupant restraints is often violent and asymmetric, with the dummy torso launching over the seatback, often with head contact on the simulated side-wall structure. These characteristics of dummy rebound are not seen in the UMTRI tests and one possible reason is the difference in allowed foot movement. In order to resolve this issue and achieve consensus on the need for, and method of, restricting dummy foot and leg movement, it is necessary to conduct a series of sled impact tests at different laboratories. It will also be important to incorporate the agreed-upon method for testing in an updated version of ANSI/RESNA WC/19.

SP-6b – Development of New Standards

Although SAE J2249 and ANSI/RESNA WC/19 represent significant achievements in standards development for WTORS and transit wheelchairs, they are but the first of many voluntary standards that are needed relative to providing safer transportation for wheelchair-seated occupants. Both SOWHAT and ISO WG6 have identified an ambitions agenda of additional work items for future standards development.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • developing test levels, test methods and performance criteria for wheelchair and WTORS for use only in moderate-g, low-g, and potentially ultra-low-g transit environments.
  • developing test levels, test methods and performance criteria for WTORS and wheelchairs in side and rear impacts,
  • finalizing standard for a universal docking interface geometry (UDIG)
  • developing test methods and performance criteria for independent dynamic testing of wheelchair seating systems,
  • developing design criteria for wheelchair-integrated restraint systems used by smaller children,
  • developing design and performance criteria for wheelchair secondary supports, such as postural belts and head supports, in the transit environment

The development of some of these new standards, or additional parts to the existing standards, is underway in ANSI/RESNA and ISO Working Groups, but other standard development efforts are awaiting further research and testing, much of which will be conducted in the RERCoWTS (see tasks in priorities 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5). In the U.S., the RESNA Standards Technical Board has provided an excellent opportunity for consolidating existing and future standards and documents related to wheelchair transportation safety into one volume, Volume 4, of ANSI/RESNA wheelchair standards. At the present time, a Working Group within ANSI/RESNA SOWHAT is planning the organization of Volume 4, which will include the revised version of SAE J2249, as well as related documents, such as the revised version of SAE J2252, Specifications for a Surrogate Wheelchair.

SP-6c – Implementation of Standards

Developing and completing a voluntary standard, such as SAE J2249 or ANSI/RESNA WC/19, is a significant accomplishment that involves research, testing, reporting (at standards meetings), discussion, debate, and compromise among individuals from various constituents participating in the standards-development process. However, it is also only the first part of the process of bringing improved products and procedures to primary users. In developing standards, an effort is made to involve as many individuals as are willing to actively participate, and to include representation from all relevant constituents, including researchers, consumers and primary users and advocacy groups, manufacturers, clinicians, transportation providers, and others. Also, in the process, of developing standards, copies of draft documents and minutes of standards meetings are widely distributed well beyond those who attend or participate in meetings. Even so, the actual documents are developed by a few key individuals, who are usually the only persons who fully understand the full spectrum and technical details of the requirements, provisions, test methods, and performance criteria that are set forth in a given standard.

For these reasons, and the fact that standards must address the needs of a diverse constituency, it is vital to follow up the completion of standards with activities that will ensure the effective implementation of the provisions and requirements of the standard. This includes developing educational materials, such as guideline documents, PowerPoint presentations, news releases and articles in consumer journals and magazines, and training videos, which explain the contents in lay language. It also involves working with manufacturers who need to understand the scope of the standards, and who may need assistance getting their products and literature to conform with the requirements of the standard. Finally, it also means providing one-on-one technical assistance to various user groups, transportation providers, and manufacturers to clarify misinformation and unfounded concerns that arise whenever a new standard is established.

For example, clinician and primary user confusion exists with regard to WC/19 requirements for recline and tilt angles of adjustable seat wheelchair during transportation in ANSI/RESNA WC/19. Many have thought that the standard limits recline angles used when transporting people in wheelchair to 30 or 35 degrees. In fact, the standard does not control or regulate what people do in actual transportation situations. It simply specifies how adjustable-seat wheelchairs should be configured for testing, and requires the wheelchair manufacturer to make recommendations for optimal and preferred recline and tilt angles that are compatible with effective occupant protection. Manufacturers often require technical assistance regarding the details of these recommendations. Another example of misinformation is the belief that designing wheelchairs to comply with WC/19 will require making compromises with other wheelchair features and functions that are needed by many wheelchair users. There is, however, no specific evidence or examples where this has been the case, and complying with the requirements of WC/19 should have no effect on important non-transit wheelchair design and functional performance factors.

Importance of Supporting Standards Development and Implementation

The leaders, investigators, and co-investigators of the proposed RERCoWTS at the U-Pitt and UMTRI have extensive experience in the development of WTORS and transit wheelchair standards, and have, in fact, been the primary leaders and co-authors of both national and international standards that have been developed in this area during the past ten to fifteen years. As such, they are well aware of the importance of working within the different standards-development forums to translate the knowledge obtained in research and testing activities into meaningful and reasonable voluntary standards that “raise the bar” in wheelchair occupant protection systems. Thus, in addition to leading and participating in the various research and development tasks outlined in this proposal, the principle investigators of the proposed RERCoWTS, and particularly the program director and co-directors, will continue to work with dedication toward developing, evaluating, updating, and implementing voluntary standards that will serve to improve transportation safety for wheelchair-seated travelers. Some of the work on standards will overlap with other RERCoWTS General Requirements, such as information dissemination and technology transfer, but it is important to distinguish the tasks related to providing support for the development and implementation of standards as key elements of the overall process of improving transportation safety for wheelchair-seated occupants.

Expected outcomes

It has already been noted that the leadership of the proposed RERCoWTS view the development, updating, and implementation of voluntary industry standards as a critical stage of the process of improving transportation safety for wheelchair-seated occupants. Through the years, it has also become clear that progress on standards development is directly proportional to resources that are available to conduct research, testing, and development that is needed to develop and validate the requirements, test methods, and performance criteria set forth in the standards. This fact was made very clear in the development of ANSI/RESNA WC/19, where private, federal, and state funds made it possible to progress in record time toward completion of the first transit wheelchair standard in the U.S. and the first ANSI/RESNA wheelchair standard developed solely within the U.S.

In view of the fact that other resources available to conduct research and testing related to wheelchair transportation safety issues have been very limited since completion of WC/19, the proposed RERCoWTS provides a significant and unique opportunity to significantly increase the pace of standards development over the next five years, and thus make significant strides forward in wheelchair transportation safety in the real world.

In particular, it is expected that, among the accomplishments related to national and international standards over the next five years, the following will be achieved with the support of the RERCoWTS:

  • test methods and performance criteria for independent dynamic testing of wheelchair seating systems,
  • final specifications for universal docking interface geometry (UDIG),
  • alternative test levels and performance criteria for WTORS used in larger vehicles,
  • requirements and performance criteria for postural supports,
  • test levels, methods, and performance criteria for wheelchairs and WTORS in side and rear impacts,
  • design requirements for wheelchair-integrated restraints,
  • guideline documents to the standards that are targeted to primary users and manufacturers,
  • updating of surrogate wheelchair and surrogate WTORS specifications and documents,
  • additional requirements for transit wheelchairs and WTORS used by small children,
  • increased harmonization between national and international WTORS and transit-wheelchair standards, and
  • a significant increase in the makes and models of wheelchairs and WTORS that comply with transit wheelchair and WTORS standards, and a significant increase in the demand by primary users for products that comply with these standards.

References

ATBCB, 1991. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles, 36 CFR Part 1192, Federal Register Vol 56, No. 173.

Benson, J.B. & Schneider, L.W. (1984) "Improving the Crashworthiness of Restraints for Handicapped Children." In Advances in Belt Restraint Systems: Design, Performance and Usage, pp. 389-404. SAE paper no. 840528. Society of Automotive Engineers, Warrendale, PA.

CSA Z605 Mobility Aid Securement and Occupant Restraint Systems for Motor Vehicles – Draft, CSA International Toronto, Canada, January, 2001.

CSA Z604 Transportable Mobility Aids – Draft, CSA International Toronto, Canada, January, 2001.

Dalrymple , G. D, Hsia, H., Ragland, C.L., and Dickman, F.B. Wheelchair and Occupant Restraint on School Buses U.S. DOT-SC-NHTSA-90-1 Final Report NHTSA, May 1990.

Dong, V.S. & Smith, R.M. Wheelchair Securement on Bus and Paratransit Vehicles Final Report UMTA-CA-06-0098-8221 July 1981 U.S. DOT Urban Mass Transportation Administration Washington D.C.

FMVSS 208 - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Department of Transportation Code of Federal Regulations, 49 CFR 571.208, Standard No. 208: Occupant Crash Protection (10-1-00 Edition), pp. 480-554. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

FMVSS 213 - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Department of Transportation Code of Federal Regulations, 49 CFR 571.213, Standard No. 213: Child Restraint Systems (10-1-00 Edition), pp. 578-614.. U.S. Government Printing office, Washington, D.C.

FMVSS 222 - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Department of Transportation. Code of Federal Regulations, 49 CFR 571.222, Standard No. 222: School Bus Passenger Seating and Crash Protection (10-1-00 Edition), pp. 670-681. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

ISO 10542-1 Wheelchair Tiedowns and Occupant Restraint Systems – Part 1: Requirements and Test Methods for All Systems- FDIA voting Draft, ISO Secretariat Switzerland, January, 25, 2001

ISO 10542-2 Wheelchair Tiedowns and Occupant Restraint Systems – Part 2: Four-Point Strap-Type Tiedowns – FDIS voting Draft, January, 25, 2001.

ISO 10542-3 Wheelchair Tiedowns and Occupant Restraint Systems – Part 3: Docking Type Systems – Working Draft, April, 2001.

ISO 10542-4 Wheelchair Tiedowns and Occupant Restraint Systems – Part 4: Clamp Type Systems – Working Draft, June, 2001.

ISO 10542-5 Wheelchair Tiedowns and Occupant Restraint Systems – Part 5: System for Specific Wheelchairs – Working Draft, October, 2000.

ISO 7176/19 Wheeled Mobility Devices for Use in Motor Vehicles – FDIS voting Draft, November 30, 2000.

SAE Recommended Practice J2249 Wheelchair Tiedowns and Occupant Restraints for Use in Motor Vehicles SAE International Warrendale, PA October 1996.

SAE J2252 Surrogate Wheelchair Drawing Package and Maintenance Manual. SAE International Warrendale, PA, October, 1996.

Schneider, L.W. & Melvin, J.W. (1978) Impact Testing of Restraint Devices Used with Handicapped Children in Bus Seats and Wheelchairs. Final Report no. UM-HSRI-78-52. The University of Michigan, Highway Safety Research Institute, Ann Arbor. Sponsor: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Bureau of Crippled Children, Madison.

Schneider, L.W.; Melvin, J.W. & Cooney, C.E. (1979) Impact Sled Test Evaluation of Restraint Systems Used in Transportation of Handicapped Children. SAE Paper no. 790074. Society of Automotive Engineers, Warrendale, PA.

Schneider, L.W. (1981) Dynamic Testing of Restraint Systems and Tie Downs for Use with Vehicle Occupants Seated in Powered Wheelchairs. Final Report no. UM-HSRI-81-18. The University of Michigan, Highway Safety Research Institute, Ann Arbor. Sponsor: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, Boston.

Schneider (1991) L. Rationale, Historical Synopsis of the Literature, and Bibliography, Vol 2. Prepared for the Canadian Standards Association, Document # R91-13.

Schneider, L.W. Working Toward Safer Motor-Vehicle Transportation for People in Wheelchairs UMTRI Research Review July-Sept 1996, Vol. 27, No. 3

Section 19 ANSI/RESNA Volume 1: Requirements and Test Methods for Wheelchairs; Wheelchairs Used as Seats in Motor Vehicles RESNA Secretariat, Arlington Virginia Approved May 2000 by American National Standards Institute, Inc.

Stewart, C.F. & Reinl, H.G. Wheelchair Securement on Bus and Paratransit Vehicles Interim Report UMTA-CA-06-0098-81-1 April 1981 U.S. DOT Urban Mass Transportation Administration Washington


Progress Report June 1, 2003

The three interrelated tasks of this priority involve:

  1. updating existing standards related to wheelchair transportation safety based on manufacturer and test-facility experience with the standards, real-world performance of products that comply with the standards, and results of RERC research, testing, and analysis of test databases,
  2. facilitating the development of new national and international standards or additional parts of existing standards related to improved transportation for wheelchair-seated occupants based on the results of RERC research and development efforts, and
  3. working to ensure the effective implementation and use of existing standards.

With regard to updating and developing new standards, staff of the RERC on WTS have participated in numerous standards meetings in the past year, including meetings of ISO TC173/SC1 WG6 in October 2002 and May 2003, and a meeting of the ANSI/RESNA Subcommittee on Wheelchairs and Transportation (SOWHAT) in July 2002. In support of updating existing standards, several sled tests have been conducted to validate the use of a foot strap to control ATD lower-extremity rebound kinematics during frontal impact testing. The results, which were presented at the May meeting of ISO WG6 and will be presented at the June 22/23 SOWHAT meeting in Atlanta, will be used to propose a modification to the test methods used in frontal crash testing of wheelchairs and WTORS.

In support of developing new standards, the RERC on WTS has designed, fabricated, and tested a new surrogate wheelchair base (SWCB) for use in performing independent (of commercial wheelchair bases) crash testing of wheelchair seating systems in ISO 16840-4 or ANSI/RESNA WC/20 Seating Systems for Use in Motor Vehicles. RERC staff have also drafted new versions of these seating-system standards that incorporate the new SWCB and other changes based on voting comments and discussions in standards meetings. In addition, a lightweight surrogate wheelchair base that simulates the inward deformability of manual wheelchair frames during impact loading has been designed, fabricated, and tested, and will be further evaluated for possible implementation in future seating-system standards

Preparations are now being made for the next meeting of the ANSI/RESNA Subcommittee on Wheelchairs and Transportation (SOWHAT) that will be held on June 22 and 23 at RESNA. Items on the agenda for this meeting include:

  1. a draft proposal for adding wheelchairs and restraints systems for small children to WC/19,
  2. an updated draft of the wheelchair seating standard,
  3. a revised and updated version of the standard for Wheelchair Tiedown and Occupant Restraint Systems (previously in SAE J2249), and
  4. an update on the universal docking interface geometry (UDIG).

With regard to the implementation of standards, there has continued to be a significant effort during the past year to develop and disseminate information to inform and educate various interest groups about the existence of transit wheelchair and WTORS standards, and to answer questions from manufacturers and consumers about the standards and other issues related to safe transportation for wheelchair travelers. In addition to numerous individual communications via email and phone conversations, this is being achieved through the development of educational materials on the RERC-on-WTS website, and through workshops and conference presentations. The Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are now available on the RERC on WTS website and are updated on a regular basis. The RERC on WTS also participated in the development and dissemination of a new easy-to-read brochure called Ride Safe, which provides basis information about transportation safety for wheelchair-seated travelers using equipment that complies with existing transit wheelchair and WTORS standards. The Ride Safe brochure is also available on a website called www.travelsafer.org.


Progress Report June 1, 2004

The three interrelated tasks of this priority include:

  1. updating existing standards related to wheelchair transportation safety based on manufacturer and test-facility experience with the standards, real-world performance of products that comply with the standards, and results of RERC research, testing, and analysis of test databases,
  2. facilitating development of new national and international standards or additional parts of existing standards related to improved transportation for wheelchair-seated occupants based on the results of RERC research and development efforts, and
  3. working to ensure the effective implementation and use of existing standards.

With regard to updating and developing new standards, staff of the RERC on WTS have participated in numerous standards meetings in the past year, including three meetings of ISO TC173/SC1 WG6 held during October 2003 in Hardervijk Holland, during January 2004 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and during May 2004 in Estes Park. Colorado. In addition, RERC staff just completed chairing and participating in the annual meeting of the RESNA standards Committee on Wheelchairs and Transportation held in conjunction with RESNA 2004 in Orlando Florida.

In addition to participating in the three standards meetings of ISO WG6, RERC staffs have been active in leading the development of new ISO standards and in commenting and voting on other ISO standards that have recently completed the ISO voting process. New ISO standards being authored by RERC staff include Part 3 of ISO 10542 that address requirements and test methods for docking-type wheelchair securement system, including the specifications for a Universal Docking Interface Geometry (UDIG), and a standard for Wheelchair Seating Systems for Use in Motor Vehicles (ISO 16840-4). In addition, RERC staffs have taken the lead on a New Work Item (NWI) proposal in ISO for rear-facing wheelchair stations in low-g fixed-route transit vehicles as well as a New Work Item to revise and upgrade ISO 7176/19 for Wheelchairs Used as Seats in Motor Vehicles.

Simultaneous with the ISO standards activities, RERC staffs are taking the lead in completing the first set of standards and related publications that will be included in the initial volume of ANSI/RESNA Wheelchair Standards/Volume 4 – Wheelchairs and Transportation. The attached table lists the sections or parts that are expected to be included in the first edition of this new Volume 4. As indicated, Part 18 will be the standard for Wheelchair Tiedown and Occupant Restraint Systems for Use in Motor Vehicles, which is currently SAE Recommended Practice J2249. This document has been revised and supplemented based on new developments in ISO 10542-3, including the UDIG, and based on experience using SAE J2249 for nearly eight years. Part 19 of Volume 4 is reserved for the current Part 19 of Volume 1, the transit wheelchair standard, commonly known as WC/19. Part 20 is reserved for the new standard for Wheelchair Seating Systems for Use in Motor Vehicles, which is being developed simultaneously in RESNA and ISO. The other parts of Volume 4 contain information that is needed for these three standards, including the engineering drawings and specifications for the surrogate wheelchair used to dynamically load wheelchair tiedowns in WC/18, engineering drawings and specifications for the surrogate four-point strap-type wheelchair tiedown used to secure wheelchairs that are dynamically tested in WC/19, and engineering drawings and specifications for the surrogate wheelchair base (SWCB) used for dynamic seating system testing in WC/20.

In support of developing the new transportation wheelchair seating standard, RERC staff have continued to expand and perform sled impact testing to validate the surrogate wheelchair base (SWCB) that provides a generic but representative wheelchair frame base for crash testing wheelchair seating systems loaded by an anthropomorphic test device, or crash dummy. The latest matrix of validation tests calls for sled testing several different types of wheelchair seating systems three times - once on a commercial wheelchair base and twice using the SWCB with different rear securement points in the latter two tests to achieve different wheelchair kinematics and seat loading. The key output of these tests are the types and extents of seat and seatback failures that result from testing using production wheelchair bases and the surrogate base. The SWCB is validated if the seat and seatback failure are similar but somewhat more severe when the seating system is tested on the SWCB than when tested on the production base. It is anticipated that the SWCB validation testing will be completed by August 2004, after which the ISO and RESNA seating standards can move forward toward completion.

With regard to the implementation of standards, there has continued to be a significant effort during the past year to develop and disseminate information to inform and educate various interest groups about the existence of transit-wheelchair and WTORS standards, and to answer questions from manufacturers and consumers about the standards and other issues related to safe transportation for wheelchair travelers. In addition to numerous individual communications via email and phone conversations, this is being achieved through the development of educational materials on the RERC-on-WTS website, and through workshops and conference presentations. The Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are now available on the RERC on WTS website and are updated on a regular basis. In addition, a list of wheelchair and WTORS products that comply with current ANSI/RESNA and SAE standards was compiled from inquiries made to the manufacturers of these products has been placed on the RERC website so that consumers can find information on available transit products in one place.

The Ride Safe brochure developed in the previous year continues to be available on a website called www.travelsafer.org that can be referenced through the RERC on WTS website. An additional 15,000 to 20,000 of these brochures have been distributed during the past year and this is having a significant impact on consumer awareness and request for wheelchairs with the transit option. In this regard, one manufacturer noted that 80% of the requests for wheelchairs that offer the transit option are for the transit option to be included.

Dissemination of information on current standards for transit wheelchairs and WTORS has been presented at numerous workshops and panel sessions during the past year, including the Transportation for Students With Disabilities Conference in Indianapolis during March 2004, the annual Conference of the American Association for Public Transportation (APTA), in Denver during May 2004, and the recent RESNA Conference in Orlando. RERC staff also assisted a therapist at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center to develop an educational on-line interactive power-point presentation called Self Reported Experience with Safe Transport of Children with Special Health Care Needs. In addition to communicating the basic information on new standards and products that comply with these standards to more than 1000 therapists, this program provided useful information on the problems and needs of therapist dealing with the transportation of children with physical disabilities.

Planned Contents of Volume 4

ANSI/RESNA Standards for Wheelchairs and Transportation

Part No.Part Title
0Nomenclature, Terms, and Definitions
1Guide to WTORS and Transit Wheelchair Standards, and related Transportation Safety Issues
2Surrogate Wheelchair (SWC) for Testing Wheelchair Tiedown and Occupant Restraint Systems - Design Rationale, Features, Specifications, and Engineering Drawings
3Surrogate Four-Point, Strap-Type Wheelchair Tiedown and Occupant Restraint System (4-Pt SWTORS) - Design Rationale, Features, and Specifications, and Engineering Drawings
4Surrogate Docking Wheelchair Tiedown and Occupant Restraint System - (Docking SWTORS) Design Rationale, Features, and Specifications, and Engineering Drawings
5Surrogate Wheelchair Base (SWCB) for Frontal Crash Testing of Wheelchair Seating Systems
6-17To be used for future parts and standards
18Wheelchair Tiedowns and Occupant Restraint Systems for Use in Motor Vehicles
19Wheelchairs for Use as Forward-Facing Seats Motor Vehicles
20Wheelchair Seating Devices for Use in Motor Vehicles

Shaded rows (18, 19, and 20) correspond to standards; unshaded rows correspond to normative supporting documents.


Progress Report June 1, 2005

The three interrelated tasks of this priority include:

  1. updating existing standards related to wheelchair transportation safety
  2. facilitating the development of new national and international standards or additional parts of existing, and
  3. working to ensure the effective implementation and use of existing standards.

With regard to updating and developing new standards, staff of the RERC-WTS have participated in two meetings of ISO TC173/SC1 WG6 during the past year, including one during November 2004 in Valencia, Spain and one in April 2005 in London, England. In addition, RERC staff chaired and participated in the annual meeting of the RESNA standards Committee on Wheelchairs and Transportation held in conjunction with RESNA 2004 in Atlanta, GA.

RERC-WTS staff members have continued to provide leadership for the development and revising of ISO and ANSI/RESNA standards and in balloting on ISO standards that have recently completed the ISO voting process. In particular, RERC staff led the development and completion of ISO 10542-3 Wheelchair Tiedowns and Occupant Restraints with Docking Type Tiedowns, which includes the specifications for a Universal Docking Interface Geometry (UDIG). Also, the RERC-WTS staff members are leading the development of ISO 16840-4 Wheelchair Seating Systems for Use in Motor Vehicles, which includes completion of a series of sled tests to validate the surrogate wheelchair base (SWCB) as a viable test device for conducting crashworthiness tests of wheelchair seating systems. Finally, RERC staff have led the development of two New Work Items (NWI, including:

  1. A proposal to revise and upgrade ISO 7176/19 Wheelchairs Used as Seats in Motor Vehicles, which involved the development of a CD draft standard incorporating proposed changes and additions to the existing standard, and
  2. A proposal for a standard addressing rear-facing wheelchair stations in low-g, fixed-route transit vehicles.

Simultaneous with the ISO standards activities, RERC staff have continued to lead efforts to complete the first set of standards to be included in the initial volume of ANSI/RESNA Wheelchair Standards/Volume 4 - Wheelchairs and Transportation, including:

  • WC-18, which is the revised version of SAE Recommended Practice J2249 Wheelchair Tiedown and Occupant Restraint Systems for Use in Motor Vehicles based on experience using SAE J2249 for nearly ten years and including the UDIG,
  • WC19, which is the revised and updated version ANSI/RESNA WC19 Wheelchairs used as Seats in Motor Vehicles
  • WC-20 a new standard for Wheelchair Seating Systems for Use in Motor Vehicles, which is comparable to the ISO 16840-4

In support of developing WC-20, validation testing of the SWCB has been completed using four different commercial seating systems and a sling seat and seatback tested on both the SWCB and a commercial manual wheelchair. Results of these tests confirm that testing of seating systems on the SWCB produces in similar, but somewhat worst-case, seat and seatback loading and failures during frontal impact testing, and thus confirms that testing seating systems using the SWCB provides a viable method for evaluating seating system performance for use on a wide range of wheelchair bases.

With regard to the implementation of standards (Task 6c), there has continued to be a significant effort during the past year to develop and disseminate information to inform and educate various interest groups about the existence of transit-wheelchair and WTORS standards, and to answer questions from manufacturers and consumers about the standards and other issues related to safe transportation for wheelchair travelers. In addition to numerous individual communications via email and phone conversations, and direct contact with more than fourteen wheelchair and WTORS manufacturers and at least twenty-five manufacturer' representatives through product testing to these standards at UMTRI, RERC staff have given numerous presentations and workshops and the RERC-WTS website has been updated with new information on standards activities and other educational materials. In addition, the list of wheelchair products that comply with current ANSI/RESNA WC19 was updated inquiries made to the manufacturers of these products has been updated.

The Ride Safe brochure has continued to be available on www.travelsafer.org that can be referenced through the RERC-WTS website. In addition, approximately 50,000 of these brochures have been distributed to date and some wheelchair manufacturers are including them with all WC19 wheelchairs and distributing the brochures at trade shows and conferences. The current version of the brochure is now out of print but a revised version, which includes improved illustrations and additional information on WC19 wheelchairs, has been developed and is expected to be available for distribuion in August 2005.

A significant step toward increasing the implementation of products that comply with the current standards was made in the development and discussion of the Theme-1 white paper at the RERC-WTS State-of-Science Workshop held January 2005. The title of this theme was Barriers to the Development, Marketing, Purchase, and Use of Transit Safety Technologies, or TST, where the latter term refers generically to equipment that complies with voluntary WTORS and WC19 wheelchair standards.

The discussions on this topic identified the primary barriers to increased availability of WC19 wheelchairs, which include:

  1. A broad lack of knowledge and awareness of the standards and products that comply with the standards
  2. Manufacturer' fear of liability
  3. Lack of economic incentives for manufacturers
  4. The voluntary nature of the standards

Overall the top three strategies for dealing with all of the identified barriers to TST were:

  1. Create regulations that make the presence and use of TST mandatory
  2. Educate transit providers, third party payers, users, government agencies regarding the value of TST including the cost of injury vs. the cost of providing TST (i.e., cost benefit analysis)
  3. Develop the concept that wheelchair transportation safety is an integral feature and therefore should be included into the base price of transit wheelchairs

In follow up to the SOS and these identified strategies, the RERC was successful in getting SADMERC codes for high-activity powered wheelchairs to reference the performance requirements of WC19. Efforts are now underway to have WC19 referenced in SADMERC codes for both adult and pediatric manual wheelchairs.

Another important outcome of the SOS workshop was discussions with Dennis Cannon of the Transit-Access Board regarding opportunities during the next 12 months to influence changes to ADA requirements for wheelchair securement and occupant restraint in different types of public transit vehicles. A new Breakout Group has been formed with the RESNA Committee on Wheelchairs and Transportation to specifically address this opportunity.

Finally, members of the RERC staff attended the annual meeting of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). In follow up to conversation with Stephen Sundarrao of the NMEDA Board, a new subcommittee has been established within NMEDA to provide a link between the RESNA Committee and the NMEDA.


Progress Report June 1, 2006

Work continued toward completion and publication of the initial version of Volume 4 of wheelchair standards, Wheelchairs and Transportation. The initial version will include three primary parts and supporting documents (e.g., specifications for test equipment such as the surrogate wheelchair, the surrogate four-point tiedown, etc.). Two of these parts are upgrades and revisions of existing standards and one part is a new standard. The revised parts are:

  • Section 18 ANSI/RESNA
    WC/Volume 4 - Wheelchair Tiedown and occupant Restraint Systems for Use in motor vehicles
  • Section 19 ANSI/RESNA
    WC/Volume 4 - Wheelchairs for Use as Seats in Motor Vehicles

Section 18 is a revised and upgrade version so Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2249 while Section 19 is an upgrade version of Section 19 in ANSI/RESNA WC/Volume 1. The third part of Volume 4 will be:

Section 20 ANSI/RESNA WC/Volume 4 - Seating Devices for Use in Motor Vehicles. Other activities include:

  • balloting on ISO 7176/19 and 10542-1/2
  • development of a draft wheelchair standard for rear-impact performance
  • development of a draft standard for rearfacing
  • wheelchair passenger stations (RF WPS) in large accessible transit vehicles (LATVs)

preliminary development of changes to ADA requirements for wheelchair passenger stations in public vehicles.


Five Year Summary Report

This task was subdivided into three subtasks that essentially ran consecutively; the first two, sub tasks 3a and 3b,  for 24 months duration and subtask 3c for the remaining 12 months of the 60 month cycle. The tasks essentially pursued the original objectives, as stated below, with only minor alterations that were made in response to changes in the marketplace, or opportunities to derive benefits from synergies that occurred through collaboration with other RERC-WTS projects or external research developments. 

SP-3a Investigation and Development in Support of a Universal Docking Interface Geometry (UDIG) Securement Standard

Objectives:

  • To provide leadership and research support for the develop and publication of a national and international voluntary industry standard for wheelchair docking technology, including a universal docking interface geometry (UDIG)
  • to facilitate the design and develop of docking technologies that comply with the newly developed industry standards in order to demonstrate their commercial feasibility.

Outputs:

  • ISO FDIS 10542-3:Docking-type tiedown systems, which includes a normative specification for a universal docking interface geometry, has been published by ISO as an international standard (1-21-05).
  • Key requirements and specifications from the ISO standard have been included in ANSI/RESNA Vol. WC-18, which will be reviewed in June, 2005 for adoption as a U.S. national standard.
  • A peer-reviewed publication has been accepted for publication.
  • A docking device for use in high ‘g’ environments, compatible with both standards, has been designed and successfully crash tested ready for commercial application.
  • A provisional patent has obtained by the University of Pittsburgh in preparation for the establishment of a technology transfer partnership with an appropriate wheelchair securement company.
  • Conducted workshops and presented platform papers to raise the awareness and understanding of wheelchair transportation safety issues.  

Anticipated Outcomes:

  • Docking technologies that comply with these standards can now be developed and marketed that will;
    • facilitate the rapid and independent securement of wheelchairs in all public vehicles
    • ensure compatibility of docking securement of wheelchairs and docking technologies across transport systems, states and ideally, countries
    • reduce the cost of wheelchair transport as the manual 4 strap securement devices are phased out of common practice.  

 

SP-3b Development and Evaluation of Docking Devices for Use in  Low g Environments

Objectives:

  1. To provide leadership and research support for the develop and publication of a national and international voluntary industry standard for wheelchair containment for use on large accessible transit vehicles (LATV)
  2. To design, develop, test and evaluate a series of low-g and ultra-low-g securement concepts and devices that have the potential to enhance independent access of wheelchair users to public transit vehicles.

Outputs:

  • Leadership for two revisions of the preliminary work item (PWI) working draft (WD) on Rear-facing wheelchair passenger spaces in large accessible transport vehicles (RF-WPS) in preparation for national body voting as a new work item (NWI) for ISO-working group 6 (WG-6)
  • Design and initiation of a data base of wheelchair measures to guide decision-making of the design requirements for the RF-WPS
  • Review and compilation of the research findings on ‘g’ forces incurred during emergency driving conditions in large transit vehicles. Results used to guide test method and stanard development.
  • RF-WPS distributed to participating national bodies- voted acceptance as NWI for WG-6.
  • Conducted second meeting of ANSI/RESNA break-out group on RF-WPS in an ongoing effort to develop a knowledgeable stakeholder group that will guide the effort towards an ultimate US national standard on RF-WPS that reflects the needs of the US transit marketplace.
  • Hosted an industry meeting to develop consensus on changes to ADA-Transportation section, that will facilitate wheelchair transport problem solving through implementation of the RF-WPS concept throughout the US transit industry.
  • Conceptualized, designed and produced shop drawings for a demonstration RF-WPS device, in collaboration with a commercial partner, that will be compatible with the evolving international and national standard on RF-WPS
  • A provisional patent application is in process in collaboration with a commercial partner.
  • Conducted workshops and presented platform papers to raise the awareness and understanding of wheelchair transportation safety issues related to large accessible transit vehicles  

 

Anticipated Outcomes:

  • the publication of both national and international industry standards that will guide the world-wide implementation of safer rear-facing wheelchair passenger stations for use in large accessible transport vehicles (2008).
  • the development of a new RF-WPS technology, compatible with the evolving RF-WPS industry standard, while providing superior utility and safety compared to existing products in the marketplace.

 

SP-3c Development and Evaluation of Universal Docking Devices for Use in High ‘g’ Private Vehicle Environments

Objectives:

  1. Develop a high docking system design which utilizes the ISO UDIG standard
  2. Fabricate 2 prototypes of high-g docking systems for use in private vehicles
  3. Evaluate high-g concepts dynamically using a 20g/30mph frontal impact.

Outputs:

  • One prototype high docking system design (PV-1) which utilizes the ISO UDIG standard, has been designed, fabricated and crash tested. Continued refinement of the design will be necessary prior to practical application.
  • A provision patent has been obtained on the PV-1 design.
  • Conceptualization of a second design is in process.

Anticipated Outcomes

Standards-compatible docking technology, suitable for use in private vehicle applications, that is superior to existing products in the marketplace.

Publications

Hobson, DA. Development of a Demonstration UDIG-Compatible Wheelchair Docking Device- Towards the next generation of wheelchair securement (submitted) Assistive Technology, Oct.-04

Hobson, DA. Development of an industry standard for a universal docking interface geometry, (accepted) Assistive Technology, Jan.-05

Last updated: August 18, 2006

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