A Look at Wheelchair Crash Testing
Voluntary standards for Wheelchair Transportation Safety have been developed by RESNA and ISO, which are US and International standards organizations. These standards require that any wheelchair securement system, occupant restraint system, wheelchair, or wheelchair seating system successfully pass a 30mph/20g impact sled test. The manufacturer of the device takes responsiblity for working with the testing facility to meet the requirements for the the sled test. (Read about the testing process at UMTRI.)
What does a “30mph/20g” test mean? This impact level represents the deceleration someone would see in a crash that is more serious than 95% of frontal crashes. The wheelchair and dummy experience a 30 mile per hour change in velocity and a deceleration equal to 20 times the force of gravity. This is the same level used when testing vehicles and car seats. Twenty g’s acting on a person weighing 180 lb (81.6 kg) translates into a force of about 3600 lbs.