What Is an Accessible Van?

Accessible vehicles have come a long way since they first became available for personal use about 50 years ago. Bussani Mobility knows all about it, because we’ve been involved since the dawn of the modern mobility vehicle. 

We’re here to help you understand that the right mobility equipment can support you to move about your life with more independence and freedom. The features of today’s accessible vehicles bring you style, comfort, and ease ─ and your own way to transport yourself or your loved one with a physical disability to take care of everyday tasks, go to doctor’s appointments, enjoy family events, spend time with friends, or go on vacation. 

Here’s what goes into the making of an accessible van…

Ramps for Easy Entry and Exit

There are a few types of ramps to choose from, and each has its own advantages. The most popular side-entry ramps are positioned on the side of the vehicle, allowing passengers to safely enter and exit the vehicle from the side. Rear-entry ramps give you the ability to park just about anywhere, without requiring extra space on the side for getting in and out of your vehicle. Manual-entry wheelchair ramps (which are not automated) are not used as often as side- or rear-entry ramps, but their main appeal is that they are generally less expensive.

Room for Family and Friends

Accessible vans have higher roofs and larger door openings to allow the needed space for a person to wheel in and out and sit comfortably while remaining in their manual wheelchair, power wheelchair, or scooter. Removable seats also allow you to change the configuration of the van inside, so the person using the wheelchair can sit in the back, the passenger side, or in the driver’s seat. And, there’s plenty of room for your friends and family to join you.

Transfer Seats

Whether you’re driving or riding, an automated transfer seat is another option to help the person using the wheelchair to safely get in and out of the vehicle. They no longer need to rely on someone else to lift them from their wheelchair or scooter into the seat and vice versa. It’s also very helpful for a senior using a walker. This provides another level of independence when needed.

Restraint and Docking Systems

Every reliable accessible vehicle has a good restraint and docking system (also called tie-downs) that keeps the wheelchair from shifting while the van is in motion. Certain designs allow you to secure yourself from your wheelchair on your own.

Driving Aids

If the person using the wheelchair will be the driver, we further customize your vehicle as needed to fulfill your exact needs. Driving aids can include hand controls, foot controls, steering aids, and high-tech driving controls.

Wheelchair and Scooter Lifts

Lifts can also be used to conveniently raise and store your personal mobility device (manual folding chair, wheelchair, power chair, or travel scooter) inside your vehicle at the touch of a button. For a smaller car, a lift can store the mobility device outside at the back or on top of the vehicle.

Little Luxuries

Many accessible vehicles are available with all of the little luxuries found in top-of-the-line standard vehicles, including theater sound packages, deluxe lighting, sound deadening, privacy shades, and more for your comfort.

Larger Size, More Variety

The most popular mobility vehicles today are minivans manufactured by Toyota, Honda, Chrysler, and Dodge. The latest accessible SUV from Ford, the Traverse, is also getting a lot of attention. But sometimes you need a larger vehicle with more interior passenger and cargo space, larger entry points, and all the amenities found in luxury vehicles ─  and that’s when it’s time to go with a full-size accessible van from Ford, Dodge or Mercedes. If none of these options fit the bill, the team at Bussani Mobility can convert any car, van or truck into a mobility vehicle for you, even a sports car if that’s what you want.

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to buying an accessible vehicle. And it’s not only about the vehicle itself. You’ll also be making important decisions about funding, financing, and insurance. The mobility specialists at Bussani Mobility can help you find the right vehicle for your needs and budget. We also provide maintenance services and rental vehicles. If you’re new to the mobility vehicle market, or you’ve been around for a while but you want to know about the latest-and-greatest developments, call, click or stop by to see us.