When shopping for wheelchair vans, you should be aware of the seating flexibility in adapted vans. A variety of accessibility equipment is available to accommodate your cabin seating preferences, especially.
Depending on the wheelchair van conversion style and the wheeler's preference, a wheelchair can be secured in a number of positions in a new or used handicap van. In side entry vans, the wheelchair user can sit in the driver's position (transfer seat required), the front-passenger position (with a removable/portable seat), or just behind the front seats in mid-cabin. In reality, the percentage of wheelchair users who drive is surprisingly low. That's why AMS Vans provides a standard, portable/removable front-passenger seat in their conversions, with transfer seats available for the driver's position if a wheeler wants to drive.
Just as an FYI, most states have regulations regarding children in wheelchairs and the front-passenger position of a wheelchair van, so you should become familiar with your state's seat belt and child-safety laws. Typically, the child must weigh fifty pounds or more to ride in that position, but the child also must be able to withstand the force of a deployed airbag. If a child’s physical condition is frail or sensitive, mid-cabin is the safest location.
Wheelchair seating options are more flexible in the side entry conversion than the rear entry conversion, in which the wheeler can sit in mid-cabin or the back of the van. Long-channel rear entry conversions can comfortably transport two wheelchair users at the same time. Side entry vans can also accommodate two wheelchair passengers with properly located and installed wheelchair tie downs or docking systems in the front-passenger position and mid-cabin.
Transfer seating allows the independent wheelchair user to transfer from the chair to the driver's seat by rotating into position for transfer into and out of the chair.