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The benefits of ride-upfront WAVs

Ride up front wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) allow wheelchair users to sit ‘shotgun’ in the front passenger seat alongside the driver, while sitting in their wheelchair. The vehicle is adapted with a ramp or lift to load the wheelchair and a space beside the driver, fitted with straps, so that the wheelchair can be easily secured for journeys.

There are some incredible benefits to the ride up front WAV option which can really improve the quality of a wheelchair user’s journeys and overall enjoyment of the vehicle. Of course, it’s not an option suited for everyone, so it’s worth having a think about what’s important to you – you can even test out a range of adaptations to experience a passenger ride up front wheelchair access vehicle to see if you like it.

One major benefit of ride up front WAVs is that they’re far more sociable – in enabling the wheelchair user to sit beside the driver, making it considerably easier to have a straightforward conversation without anyone having to shout or crane their necks. The passenger will also be able to access the dashboard controls like the heater, air conditioning, and music system meaning you can make changes that can make your journey more fun and more comfortable.

Another great benefit is having a better view which can really enhance a journey. Not only will it be easier to help avoid travel sickness, but it will also allow the passenger to have a better experience of the scenery if you’re driving anywhere picturesque. It’s easy to underestimate how much a better view of the road can make to the travelling experience, and many ride up front WAV users say this is something they really enjoy.

There are some practical benefits to ride up front WAVs – much like other WAVs with lifts or ramps, a wheelchair user can remain in their chair for the duration of the journey. This can make journeys far more straightforward if the disabled passenger finds certain movements difficult or impossible. Similarly, riding up front can actually be a more comfortable ride than in the back seats because speed bumps will feel less bumpy over the front wheels as opposed to the rear ones. This can be great for people with pains, such as chronic back pain, that may be exacerbated by sudden movements.

One fundamental benefit that can really mean a lot to some wheelchair users is that riding up front can bring a sense of ‘normality’ to their travel experience. Riding up front can certainly feel less like travelling in a taxi, and this can make someone feel like the vehicle is more their own. It also better reflects the travelling experience of non-disabled passengers, and this matters a lot to some.

If you’re looking to learn more about passenger ride up front wheelchair access vehicles, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team at Cartwright Mobility. We specialise in WAVs for people purchasing privately or through the Motability Scheme and we’d love to help you find something perfect for your needs and your budget.

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