SANTA MONICA, Calif. — For the millions of drivers who rely on wheelchairs to get around, there are quite a few choices to consider for conversion vehicles, says Edmunds.com, the premier resource for automotive information. But how do these drivers choose among the range of vans, sedans, coupes and SUVs that are available to accommodate their mobility challenges? Edmunds.com helps to sort through these issues with “Five Questions to Consider when Choosing a Mobility Conversion Vehicle.”
“Picking the right type of vehicle for your disability and your lifestyle is important,” says Edmunds.com Automotive Content Editor Warren Clarke. “It’s a decision that could have far-reaching effects on your comfort and your finances, so it shouldn’t depend exclusively on your feelings toward a vehicle’s image or appearance. For mobility-challenged drivers, function trumps form by a very wide margin.”
Edmunds.com suggests that anyone who requires a wheelchair-accessible vehicle uses the following five questions to help make the right choice:
- How severe are your mobility challenges? For many disabled drivers who are able to get around without wheelchairs — and some who may rely on wheelchairs, but who have good upper-body strength — sedans, coupes or SUVs may be solid options.
- How important are practicality and convenience? Conversion vans and minivans offer superior practicality and convenience. For example, they typically don’t require drivers to hoist themselves from wheelchairs to seats. This isn’t the case with many sedans, SUVs and coupes.
- Are you shopping for both current and future needs? Many mobility-challenged drivers suffer from conditions — such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, etc. — that can result in diminishing strength and agility as the years go by. Today, you may have the mobility to easily transfer to a sedan, but that may not be the case two or three years from now.
- What’s the weather like? It’s important to consider how well-suited your potential new conversion vehicle is for use in your particular climate year-round.
- Have you gotten the help of a qualified mobility dealer? A mobility dealer knows the full range of options available to shoppers and is in a position to tell you which choices suit you best. This kind of knowledgeable guidance is essential if you hope to choose a vehicle that will serve as a useful companion both today and years into the future. A qualified local dealer can be found through the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association web site at http://www.nmeda.com/locate-a-dealer/.
For Edmunds.com’s detailed guide to choosing a proper wheelchair-accessible vehicle, please visit http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/five-questions-to-consider-when-choosing-a-conversion-vehicle.html.
Disabled drivers could have even more options on the road with the emergence of self-driving cars. Learn more about the development of these vehicles and obstacles that must still be overcome at http://www.edmunds.com/car-technology/here-come-self-driving-cars.html.
About Edmunds.com, Inc.
At Edmunds.com, we’re committed to helping people find the car that meets their every need. Almost 18 million visitors use our research, shopping and buying tools every month to make an easy and informed decision on their next new or used car. Whether you’re at the dealership or on the go, we’re always by your side with our five-star Edmunds.com iPhone and iPad apps and our Edmunds.com Android App. Our comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories offer a friendly and authentic approach to the automotive world. We’re based in Santa Monica, Calif., but you can connect with us from anywhere by following @Edmunds on Twitter or by becoming a fan of Edmunds.com on Facebook.