Stay Safe with Adaptive Seating and Wheelchair Restraints

Whether you’re driving from your wheelchair or riding in the back with the rest of the family, proper seating options and wheelchair restraint solutions are crucial to remaining safe while operating an adaptive vehicle.

Power Seat Bases

There are two popular power seat bases available for conversions; the four-way and six-way power seat bases.

  1. The four-way power seat base has a motorized action for the back and forth adjustment. This aids in transferring from or two the wheelchair or the van seat and it provides motorized rotation and forward or back movement. Some seat bases even provide up and down movement for height adjustment.
  2. The six-way power seat base includes all of the functions of the four-way power seat base, plus a motorized swivel. This seat base is used by individuals with limited muscle control in the upper extremities.
Removable Seat Base
This is a detachable seat, usually mounted on wheels or coasters. It allows for easy conversion of the driver’s station for a driver using a wheelchair. This seat base can be stored in the rear of the van when not in use.
Power Pan
The power pan is designed to accommodate a driver with disabilities who cannot transfer from wheelchair to seat without assistance and must drive from a wheelchair. It allows the driver who sits high in his or her wheelchair to lower the line of vision 2 ½ – 6″ (6 – 15 cm) by automatically lowering the vehicle floor in the driver’s station.
Wheel Wells
These channels are installed in a vehicle floor to lower the wheelchair driver thereby correcting visibility problems caused by excess height of the wheelchair when placed on the normal floorboard of the vehicle.
Manual and Electric Restraints
  • Manual Restraint (“Tie-Down”) 
Manual restraints require caregiver assistance for drivers or passengers with disabilities in order to ensure proper securement and safety. The most popular manual tie-down systems are the four point tie-downs; which are secured at four points of the wheelchair, thus making it a safer restraint.
  • Electric Restraint (or Power Restraint)
 Designed for individuals who are unable to fasten the manual systems, the electric system has one device mounted on the floor of the van and one mounted on the bottom of the wheelchair. When the device on the wheelchair is properly fitted into the one on the floor there is an audible click. This means that the chair is safely locked in place. Electric models also have a buzzer and/or light to indicate safe locking.
Torso Restraints
When driving a van from a wheelchair, chest harness and/or lateral trunk supports may be used together with lap belts and wheelchair restraints for those with diminished trunk musculature and balance.

Note: A seat belt and/or shoulder restraint should always be used with any tie-down system. Never depend on wheelchair locks (brakes) alone for safety when driving or being transported!


Be sure to consult a NMEDA Dealer Member for all your automotive needs.

Manufacturers of These Products Include:

Adapt-Solutions / AMF BrunsB&D IndependenceBraunAbilityBruno Independent Living AidsEZ LockQ’StraintSure-Lok, Inc.

Listing on this website does not constitute an endorsement of products or services by NMEDA. Always consult a qualified NMEDA dealer before making any purchase decisions in order to ensure you’re matched with the proper equipment for your specific needs.