Side Entry Wheelchair Vans Explained

Side entry wheelchair vans are a popular option for those in need of accessible transportation.   Side entry is a popular option now that more handicapped parking spaces are wider, allowing for more room to drop a lift to the ground and to load and unload a wheelchair without the doors of the van hitting a car parked in an adjoining space.

Having a side entry wheelchair van also allows the person with a disabling condition to sit in the middle of the van, behind the driver’s seat or the passenger seat and not in the back of the van.

Side entry vans may have a lift in them or they may have a ramp that folds onto the ground for easy access to the van. The ramp can fold up inside the van into a small enough space to avoid claiming too much room. The lift will more than likely be where the wheelchair will stay once inside the van because it will be surrounded by walls on three sides in an effort to prevent the wheelchair from falling when being lifted into the van.

Wheelchair Van Side Entry Brands

There are thousands of wheelchair vans on the roads today, some with rear entry and some with side entry. Those with side entry as popular (if not more popular).   Here are a few brands of wheelchair accessible vans offering a side entry option:

These are not the only makes of wheelchair vans offering side entry access for wheelchairs and handicapped persons. However, they are some of the most popular options.

Handicap Van Side Entry Problems

thumbs honda odyssey 2010 f5e4d6e33867cdc52c6558d3055a132e Side Entry Wheelchair Vans ExplainedAside from occasional problems involving parking spaces (side entry is problematic in close quarters), there are other issues that dissuade some people from looking at these wheelchair vans.

Chief among these are problems with the doors themselves.   They may jam or otherwise fail to work properly after extensive use.   Mechanical problems with lifts are another frequent area of concern.

One can avoid most problems with regular preventative maintenance.   When a serious problem presents itself, one can usually rely upon a professional auto body operation or a qualified wheelchair van customizer to resolve any difficulties.

Accessible Van Parking Issues

thumbs honda odyssey 2012 99e9416d962f3aaf482826dfca1461f9 Side Entry Wheelchair Vans ExplainedAs with all large vehicles, there will be problems with parking wheelchair accessible vans.   Though we re seeing improvements, many handicapped parking spaces are too narrow to support side entry vans.   Fortunately, we are seeing consistent gains in this area since the passage of the Americans with Disability Act in 1990.   Spaces are getting wider and side entry is becoming less problematic.

Nonetheless, side entry van drivers will invariably find themselves annoyed in some situations where the only available parking spots are too narrow for the vans.