Where should wheelchair securement points be located?

“Securement point” is the terminology used in WC19 to identify those places on the wheelchair where the tiedown straps or another type of tiedown system are attached. In general, the securement points should be located high enough so that the rear tiedown straps form an angle of about 30 to 45 degrees to the horizontal and the front tiedown straps are between 30 and 60 degrees. However, the strength of the securement points or the parts of the frame to which the tiedowns are attached is more important than the height of the securement points. Thus, if stronger securement points can be found on the lower portions of the frame than on the upper frame or seat, the lower securement points may be preferable.

In this regard, some people have become concerned that wheelchair manufacturers are placing the securement points too low on WC19-compliant wheelchairs. In developing WC19, the ANSI/RESNA Subcommittee agreed to allow securement points to be as low as 100 mm (about 4 inches) from the ground so that wheelchairs with relatively low frame structures could be modified to comply with relatively few changes in structural design. While wheelchair stability during normal transit (and especially in a crash) will generally be better with higher securement points, the low securement points provided on a WC19-compliant wheelchair must have provided effective wheelchair securement under relatively severe frontal impact conditions.