An accessible van is your most important asset when you need to go somewhere. If your handicap van breaks down, you can’t borrow a friend’s van when you have a doctor’s appointment—most friends’ vans don’t have a lift or ramp.
The number one thing is regular maintenance, if the van, lift or ramp doesn’t work, you’re not going anywhere. Other important reminders:
Use it or lose it
We try not to use our vehicles too often as gas isn’t cheap and high mileage decreases the resale value. However, let it sit in the garage too long (or outside in the weather) and tires, hoses and gaskets get dry rot—and will incur replacement bills. Using your vehicle actually slows down corrosion.
Read a good book lately?
Have you ever read your owner’s manual? Do you remember how to use the manual overrides when there’s a mechanical problem? It s a good idea to refresh your memory so that you don’t get that “Oh, No!” feeling when the ramp doesn’t deploy or something doesn’t seem right.
Your mobility equipment should be inspected and maintained by a NMEDA Quality Assurance Program technician on a regular basis. Read your owner’s manual to find out how often.
Misplaced your owner’s manual? Contact the manufacturer and they’ll send you one.
Have an accident? Who you gonna call?
In the event of an accident, we call our insurance agent who has the damage appraised. That appraiser may be an expert at van damage, but if the accessible equipment needs repair, the agent typically won’t know anything about adaptive equipment, lifts or ramps, or their value—and your appraisal could be wrong.
Call your NMEDA dealer, preferably one who is QAP accredited. They are available 24/7 for mobility emergencies and accidents—and they know if the equipment is still in working condition and, if not, can it be fixed and how much it costs to fix.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying wheelchair accessible vehicles please consider one of our mobility equipment dealers.