Investigation of Electric Powered Wheelchair Safety during Contact with Vehicle Lift Barriers

RESNA 28th Annual Conference - Atlanta, Georgia

Garrett G. Grindle, BSE, Rory A. Cooper, PhD, Songfeng Guo, PhD

Human Engineering Research Laboratories - University of Pittsburgh, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
Pittsburgh, PA 15206


Accidents involving electric powered wheelchairs (EPWs) can lead to severe injury, especially if the accident occurs on a vehicle lift. The objective of this study was to determine if a 3.5 inch lift barrier is sufficient for reducing the risk of an accident and to observe the decline in current after the EPW hits the barrier and the joystick is released. Four different EPWs were tested on a 3.5 inch angled, a 3.5 inch vertical, and a 6.5 inch vertical barrier. The 3.5 inch angled and 3.5 inch vertical barrier may not effectively reduce the risk of an accident. The Yamaha JW-1, Quickie 626, and Jazzy 1120 displayed a decline in current after hit and release; however, the Invacare Pronto displayed a current spike in this situation.


Electric powered wheelchair, safety, transportation, vehicle lift

Author Contact Information:

Garrett G. Grindle
Human Engineering Research Laboratories
7180 Highland Drive 151R-1
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Office Phone (412) 356-4850