Modes of Transportation – In an Automobile

Wheelchair Lifts

There are many precautions to take when using a wheelchair lift.

What is the purpose of a wheelchair lift?

Wheelchair lifts enable people with reduced mobility to enter and exit vehicles.

Inspection and maintenance

Check the instructions and follow the manufacturer's recommendations.

The recommended maintenance program is usually included in the user manual.

Particularly harsh conditions in Québec

With snow, water, salt and ice, you must be especially cautious. Even if the maximum number of lift cycles recommended by the manufacturer has not yet been reached, it is strongly suggested that you have the mechanisms inspected each year.

Regular inspections

You should regularly check the lift's components to ensure that they are suitable and in good working condition.

In particular, check that the safety features, such as any roll stops and safety straps, are in good working order.

These regular inspections will also help extend the wheelchair lift's lifespan.

Immediately stop using the wheelchair lift if…

Its safety system is not working properly or is damaged. The wheelchair occupant could fall and sustain serious injuries.

Safely using a wheelchair lift

Entering a vehicle – 10 steps to follow

Step 1 – Park the vehicle. Be sure to pay particular attention to where you are parking:

  • the parking surface should be flat and there should be enough space to completely deploy the lift safely

Step 2 – Make sure that the vehicle's transmission is in park (P) and that the parking brake is engaged

Step 3 – Deploy the lift and make sure that it remains in its proper position

Step 4 – Lower the lift to the level of the ground

Step 5 – While lowering the lift, pay attention to the lift's roll stops:

  • this safety system must deactivate automatically once the lift has reached ground level, and not before
  • if the system does not automatically deactivate once it is at a safe height, or if it does not deploy, stop using the lift immediately and have it inspected by a specialist

Step 6 – Apply the wheelchair's wheel locking mechanism to prevent it from moving during ascent. Attach the safety strap if one is provided

Step 7 – Slowly raise the lift a few centimetres to ensure that the roll stop deploys:

  • the maximum height allowed before the wheelchair lift's safety system activates is 7.62 cm (3 inches)
  • if the roll stop system does not deploy before reaching this height, stop using the lift immediately and have it inspected by a specialist

Step 8 – Once the lift is level with the vehicle floor:

  • place the lift's controls in a safe place
  • release the wheelchair's brakes
  • roll the wheelchair inside the vehicle

Step 9 – Fold the lift into its stowed position and close the door of the vehicle

Step 10 – Position the wheelchair in the desired space using the restraint devices and attach the seat belt properly

Exiting a vehicle – Follow the 10 steps again, in the reverse order

To allow the wheelchair to exit the vehicle, simply repeat the steps in the reverse order while taking the same precautions.