Wheelchair restraints have made travelling so much easier for thousands of people across Australia and continue to provide a higher quality of life for so many otherwise bound by disabilities. With that in mind, making sure that your wheelchair restraints are in good working order at all times is an absolute necessity. If wheelchair restraints fail mid-drive, it could be catastrophic for all inside the vehicle. Often it can be easy to overlook small little problems with wheelchair restraints, especially if you have been around them for years. But here is your reminder that any of the following issues really does indicate the time has come to upgrade your restraints.
Any Visible Fraying Or Damage To The Restraints
This might sound obvious but so many people take risks with wheelchair restraints that have an obviously visible sign of fraying. Because these frayed parts are often quite small, or only on one of the restraints, most people will rationalise to themselves that the odds of them breaking are very small. This may be true, but that is still an exponentially higher chance than you have with fully functioning wheelchair restraints. It only takes one heavy break or a large bump in the road to dislodge restraints further, so if they are already weak, it could be very dangerous.
Complicated Restraint Mechanism
In the past, wheelchair restraints were very difficult to get on and off, with complicated fastening methods and awkward anchors that made it almost impossible to strap someone in easily. Thankfully, these techniques have got a lot better, and now there are many quick-release methods that make getting ready a breeze. If you have been avoiding driving your wheelchair-bound family member around due to the amount of effort it takes or have sometimes not been as careful as you maybe should, then upgrading the mechanism itself to something more modern can make the world of difference.
Change In The Wheelchair
Whenever you upgrade or change your wheelchair, you need to double-check that the new model can, in fact, be secured into the same restraints as the last. If they can't, or it is a little bit of a tight squeeze, do not try to force them. Wheelchair restraints should work seamlessly, and if they don't, it is a sign that they need to be swapped out for some that will. There are many types of wheelchair restraints, so finding one that does meet your needs is simple, you just need to ensure you do it before you get out on the road again.
Keep these things in mind about wheelchair restraints.