If you or a loved one use a wheelchair, a lowered floor minivan can be a useful tool in Binghamton, NY. Lowered floor minivans make it easier for wheelchair users to get in and out of their vehicles, and in some cases, they’re even able to get behind the wheel and drive themselves. If you’re considering a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, this might be just what you’re looking for. Here’s an overview of lowered floor minivans and how their features can benefit you.
What is a lowered floor, and why would I need one?
You might have seen lowered floors referred to as “floor drops.” This is a type of wheelchair-accessible modification available in minivans. Typically, you can get a lowered floor in anything from 11 to 15 inches, depending on your specific needs.
Lowering the floor is important so wheelchair users can get into the vehicle and sit comfortably. The floor needs to be lowered to accommodate the full height of the wheelchair and the person using it—this will vary depending on the minivan model, wheelchair and the person in question.
In most cases, the floor is lowered throughout the entire vehicle. However, in some situations, you might opt for a half-dropped floor. This offers wheelchair access behind the front seats, while leaving other seating areas intact for those without mobility issues and assistive devices.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of lowered floors?
There are two main advantages to using a lowered floor minivan in Binghamton, NY. The first is that the person using the wheelchair will not need to get out of the wheelchair and into another seat—instead, they can get into the van in their wheelchair, secure it and ride or drive from the wheelchair itself. Second, if the person is driving from their chair, their sightlines will be appropriate for the task.
Of course, modifying any vehicle comes with some challenges. First, the vehicle’s center of gravity will change, and you will probably notice some steering and handling differences. The conversion company may also remove some of the rear suspension features, which can make it more challenging (and uncomfortable) to drive or ride in. Finally, it will almost certainly change the way your van looks from the outside—while most users understand that’s part of the deal, others don’t like the way their van looks with lowered floors.
However, for the most part, the easy access to the back or the side of a lowered floor minivan in Binghamton, NY—and the independence it offers to wheelchair users—is more than enough to make a lowered floor minivan a wise choice.
If you have questions about lowered floor minivans and how they might work with your specific accessibility devices, be sure to talk to an expert. The team at Penn York Medical can help you find the right wheelchairs and vehicle mobility solutions. Call us today to learn more about our product selection, or stop by our showroom. We look forward to helping you find the right products for your needs!