FAQ C6

Does designing a wheelchair to comply with transport standards conflict with the other features and functions of wheelchairs that are important to wheelchair users on a daily basis?

Some people have expressed concern that using a WC19-compliant wheelchair means sacrificing some other features of a wheelchair that may be more important to the wheelchair user on a daily basis. Other than having four easily visible and accessible dynamically tested securement points, having less injury producing protrusions, and being more compatible with occupant restraints, wheelchairs that are WC19 compliant should be similar in design and function than non-WC19 compliant wheelchairs. The features that give the wheelchair improved dynamic strength should be essentially invisible to the user, and should also improve overall wheelchair durability of the wheelchair. It is possible that a WC19 wheelchair would weigh more than the same version without the transit option, which may be a factor when stowing manual wheelchairs. If transfer to the vehicle seat is possible, it is recommended rather than traveling in a WC19 wheelchair.

Backrest height requirements of WC19 also might conflict wtih other wheelchair design features and functions. Wheelchairs with very low or very weak backrests may not comply with the rebound-loading requirement of WC19, which requires that wheelchair backrests provide effective support for the ATD when it rebounds from loading the belt restraints in the frontal-impact test. However, most users of low-back wheelchairs, would be able to transfer to the vehicle’s standard seats which is recommended.