What is a Handicap van?
A wheelchair van is the most common name of a modified vehicle that is used by a person who is in a wheelchair or scooter. These specialized vehicles have many other names including handicap vans, wheelchair accessible vans, lowered floor vans, wheelchair minivans, and mobility vans just to name a few. All of these names refer to a van that is wheelchair or scooter accessible. Wheelchair vans have made life easier and more convenient for people with disabilities. With so many types of accessible vehicles, it is important to understand the available choices.
Wheelchair van types?
Wheelchair vans are either full size vans or minivans equipped with either a wheelchair lift or ramp. The popular wheelchair minivans have a lowered floor and a ramp which gives the user the ability to enter the vehicle while staying in a wheelchair or scooter. The accessible minivans are manufactured with side or rear access. The side access lowered floor minivans are the most common because of several key advantages. Both front seats are removable giving a wheelchair user the ability to remain in the wheelchair and drive or be a passenger. If both front seats remain in, a wheelchair user can ride in the center of the van as a passenger or transfer into the driver’s seat to operate the vehicle. The main advantage of a rear access wheelchair van is the ability to park in any space even if the wider handicap spaces are all taken.
A full size wheelchair van is equipped with a wheelchair lift in either the side or the rear. This type of handicap van usually has either a raised roof or a lowered floor and sometimes both depending on the user’s requirements. Because of gas prices and the popularity of the smaller minivans, these larger vans have become less common.