When it comes to wheelchair mobility aids in vehicles, ramps and lifts are the most common options. Ramps extend outside the vehicle and provide a slope on which the wheelchair user can use to board or disembark from the vehicle. Wheelchair lifts, on the other hand, are electric-powered and lift the wheelchair user up or down to board or alight from the vehicle respectively. If you or someone you know is shopping for vehicle mobility aids, this article will show you why wheelchair lifts are a better than ramps when non-powered chairs are concerned.
Lifts are safer in regards to ramp-rolling
Wheelchair ramps in vehicles have one risk factor that alternative wheelchair lifts do not; and that is the risk of rolling. The slope on wheel ramps can involuntarily send the wheelchair user rolling out of the car during boarding or disembarkment. Needless to say, a 'rolling' risk is something to think about, especially if the user will be operating the mobility aid without help. With lifts, this risk is not there because the platform used is flat and there are movement restraints in place.
Lifts offer more independence during use
Unlike ramps, wheelchair lifts confer more independence to the user. That's because, where non-powered wheelchairs are concerned, users can use a lift without having a carer on standby. The lift will do most of the work by hoisting the user up and lowering them down as desired. With ramps, the user will have a hard time getting themselves up into the vehicle all by themselves considering that their chair is not powered.
Lifts are better with time economy
Wheelchair lifts will also offer the user better time economy due to their mode of operation. That is, wheelchair lifts offer automated function while ramps require manual operation. When using the lift, therefore, the user is able to board and alight from the vehicle faster. After all, they are not relying on their physical stamina to do so as is the case with ramps.
Wheelchair lifts also offer most of these benefits where powered chairs are concerned. Of course, this is not to say that they do not have their shortcomings. For example, wheelchair lifts cost more and need more maintenance. All in all, they offer a smoother user experience as explained. This tends to make all the difference because mobility aids are all about making life easier for the user and lifts do that much better than ramps.