Browse Publications Technical Papers 2016-01-1433
2016-04-05

Wheelchair Users’ Ingress/Egress Strategies While Transferring Into and Out of a Vehicle 2016-01-1433

The ability to independently transfer into and out of a vehicle is essential for many wheelchair users to achieve driving independence. This paper presents the results of an exploratory study that investigated the transfer strategies of wheelchair users who drive from their driver’s seat and not from their wheelchair. The goal of this study was to identify typical ingress and egress motions as well as “touch points” of wheelchair users transferring into and out of the driver’s seat. While motion databases exist for the ingress and egress of able-bodied drivers, this study provides insight on drivers with physical disabilities. Twenty-five YouTube videos of wheelchair users who transferred into and out of their own sedans were analyzed. The locations where the drivers’ hands, feet, and hips interacted with the vehicle, as well as the actions of the drivers while transferring from their wheelchair into the driver’s seat and then transferring from the driver’s seat into their wheelchair were recorded. Action sequences and wheelchair and vehicle touch points were plotted in CAD. Results indicate that drivers tend to transfer using one of two primary techniques, hand-first or foot-first, and that clusters of touch points are mainly found on the driver’s seat and the steering wheel of the vehicle. The strategies used and touch point locations for ingress and egress were very similar. Knowledge gained in this study may impact future vehicle design, making vehicles easier to access for drivers with and without disabilities.

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