What is different about WC19 wheelchairs?
Other than the addition of four easily accessible securement points on the wheelchair frame, the wheelchair-anchored pelvic belt restraint, and the WC19-required labeling on the wheelchair frame and belts, WC19 wheelchairs are not noticeably different from non-WC19-compliant wheelchairs. In many cases, the changes needed to redesign a non-WC19-compliant wheelchair so that it can become a WC19-compliant wheelchair are minor and involve modifications to structural design and changes in materials that will not be apparent to an observer.
The 30-mph frontal impact specified in Annex A of WC19 imposes significant forces on the wheelchair and its securement points. These forces are functions of the wheelchair mass, the locations of occupant-restraint anchorages, the locations of the securement points on the wheelchair, and the size of the wheelchair occupant. However, wheelchairs do not need to be “built like a tank” to comply with the crashworthiness requirements of WC19. Some of the lightest-weight stroller-type wheelchairs perform the best in the 30-mph frontal impact crash test, and fully comply with the frontal-impact performance requirements of WC19.