Rear Or Side Entry? 3 Factors To Consider To Settle The Great Wheelchair Van Debate

Purchasing a wheelchair-accessible vehicle changes everything by giving you more freedom and comfort for getting around town. While you probably have a few ideas in mind for how you want your new van to look, it is important to first decide whether entering on the side or the back of your vehicle will work best for your needs. To ensure that you will be happy with your new set of wheels, ask yourself these three questions.

Do You Live In An Accessible Area?

A side-entry van offers you the ability to parallel park since the ramp comes down on the side. However, this may not be the best option if you live in a place with limited wheelchair accessible parking spaces because you will have to be very cautious to avoid having someone block your entrance side with their vehicle. A rear-entry van also tends to work best if you have a small garage that cannot accommodate a side ramp coming down.

Do You Plan to Drive?

It is also important to consider who will be driving your van. For example, a parent with a child who uses a wheelchair may prefer a rear-entry van that makes it easier for them to get in the back seat. Drivers, however, typically prefer side-entry vehicles because it makes it easier to maneuver into the preferred driving position. Focusing on who will be driving allows you to make sure that they have easy access anytime they want to get behind the wheel.

Who Else Will Be Riding Along?

Although wheelchair vans are spacious, it is important to think about the comfort of the other passengers. Side-entry vans tend to offer more space for the wheelchair, but this type limits the passengers to exiting from the other side. Rear-entry vans allow for seating to be placed next to the wheelchair, which is beneficial if someone in your family needs a caregiver to stay nearby. If you have a need for storage, such as shuttling kids to and from sports practice, then a side-entry van allows you to retain the storage area in the back.

Choosing the right entrance to your van makes a big difference in where you can park and how comfortable it is to drive and ride along. By taking your overall lifestyle into consideration, you can settle this debate once and for all so that you can start taking advantage of having more accessible transportation. Check out a company like Lone Star Handicap Vans to get started.