Passengers seated in wheelchairs in a moving vehicle are 45 times more likely to be injured in a crash than someone in a regular seat. That’s why the way a wheelchair is secured is critically important. That was the take-home message from a session on wheelchair safety during a School Choice night held by Matheny for families of our students and patients. The session was presented by Brad King, Matheny director of transportation; John Reck, director of assistive technology; and Cindy LaBar, director of physical therapy.
King emphasized that it’s very important that families, bus drivers and operators of bus companies are all properly educated in wheelchair safety. “Every wheelchair,” he said, “should be secured using four wheelchair tie downs, and the individual should be secured with a properly fitting vehicle-mounted lap and shoulder belt.”
Reck pointed out that many injuries of passengers in wheelchairs are not the result of crashes. They are caused by things such as abrupt turning maneuvers or hard braking.