Everything You Need To Know About Handicap Parking

Parking is one of the major challenges that people living with a  disability face every day. Although there are designated parking spaces for these people, getting around them may be challenging for people struggling to adjust to the new reality.

You will have to apply for a blue badge with your local authorities to access a disability parking space. Additionally, different states have different rules and regulations regarding handicapped parking. Read on to understand everything you should know about handicapped parking, including handicap parking tips and etiquette for an easy time on the road.

Know the Different Types of Disabled Parking Spaces

There are three types of disabled parking spaces in the U.S. to accommodate a wide range of users and cater to all vehicle types. These include:

  • Accessible parking spaces for cars
  • Accessible parking spaces for vans (One side entry)
  • Accessible parking spaces for vans (Two side entry)

Accessible Parking Spaces for Cars

Accessible parking spaces for cars are designed for a person with a disability using standard vehicles without ramps or lifts. They are marked by a blue and white wheelchair symbol, so you can easily spot one in a parking lot. Each space is at least 96 inches wide with a 60-inch aisle and is level for easy access. They are great for people recovering from injuries using walkers or crutches.

Accessible Parking Spaces for Vans (One Side Entry)

Accessible parking spaces for one-sided entry vans are designated for persons with disabilities using a wheelchair-accessible van with a ramp or lift. They are fully equipped for larger vehicles requiring more space and are at least 96 inches wide with a 60-inch white striped aisle on the passenger side for easy entry and exit.

The aisle provides enough space for mobility aids, including walkers, crutches, manual wheelchairs, braces, or electric scooters. These spaces have a ‘van accessible’ sign for easy spotting and have higher vertical clearance for taller vans.

Accessible Parking Spaces for Vans (Two Sided Entry)

Accessible parking spaces for two-sided entry vehicles are functionally similar to the one-sided entry ones, except they have access aisles on the driver and passenger side to provide enough space for disabled drivers and passengers. Therefore, both of them can easily access the van from both sides.

How To Know Your Appropriate Parking Space

Your appropriate parking space will depend on the type of car you drive, whether you have a disabled passenger, and your specific needs. For instance, if you are using crutches or a walker, or recovering from an injury, and driving a standard vehicle, you should use an accessible parking space for cars only.

If your vehicle has a ramp or lift, you should use accessible space for a one-sided van to have enough space for the wheelchair. If you travel with a disabled passenger in a two-sided van, you should use an accessible space designed for this type of van to allow easy access to the vehicle from both sides.

Handicap Parking Etiquette and Tips

  • Do not park in the designated handicapped parking spaces unless it’s necessary.
  • Always display your disability parking badge when you park in a designated parking spot for the handicapped. Otherwise, you may receive a parking ticket.
  • Do not lend your disability parking badge to family or friends. Otherwise, you risk a hefty fine or revocation by your local authorities.
  • Avoid judging other disability parking space users who do not look physically handicapped; not all disabilities are visible.
  • Do not use your disability parking badge once it’s expired. Apply for a new one.

Final Thoughts

Parking can be a challenge for persons with disability. However, it doesn’t have to be. With the above tips, you can seamlessly move around and have an easy time on the road. If you have accessibility issues, contact us for solutions that suit your lifestyle and that are affordable.