Chapter T4: Wheelchair Spaces and Securement Systems

T401 General.  The technical requirements in Chapter T4 shall apply where required by Chapter T2.

T402 Wheelchair Spaces

T402.1 General.  Wheelchair spaces shall comply with T402.

T402.2 Surfaces.  Wheelchair space surfaces shall comply with T802.

T402.3 Approach.  One full unobstructed side of each wheelchair space shall adjoin or overlap a circulation path complying with T502.

T402.4 Size.  Wheelchair spaces shall be 760 mm (30 inches) minimum by 1220 mm (48 inches) minimum.  Where the wheelchair space is confined on all or part of three sides, additional maneuvering space complying with T402.4.1 or T402.4.2 shall be provided.  Fold-down seats shall be permitted to occupy the wheelchair space and additional maneuvering space provided the spaces are not obstructed when the seats are in the up position.  Fold-down seats shall be permitted to occupy the additional maneuvering space when the wheelchair space is occupied.

Advisory T402.4 Size.  Where wheelchair spaces are confined on all or part of three sides, such as against a side wall and between a fold-up seat and wheel housing, the additional space is needed only for maneuvering the wheelchair into and out of the area.

T402.4 Size
Occupied wheelchair space shown in plan view to be 760 mm (30 inches) wide minimum and 1220 mm (48 inches) long  minimum.

T402.4.1 Front or Rear Entry.  Where the short side of the wheelchair space is entered from the front or rear and the confined space is more than 610 mm (24 inches) deep, the wheelchair space and additional maneuvering space shall be 787 mm (31 inches) minimum by 1220 mm (48 inches) minimum.

 

T402.4.1 Front or Rear Entry
Wheelchair space 787 mm (31 inches) wide minimum that is entered from the front or rear and is confined on both sides for a depth greater than 610 mm (24 inches) deep.

T402.4.2 Side Entry.  Where the long side of the wheelchair space is entered from the side and the confined space is more than 380 mm (15 inches) deep, the wheelchair space and additional maneuvering space shall be 760 mm (30 inches) minimum by 1372 mm (54 inches) minimum.

 

T402.4.2 Side Entry
Plan view of a vehicle with a forward facing wheelchair space entered from the side that is 1372 mm (54 inches) long minimum  and is confined in the front and back for a distance of over 380 mm (15 inches).
(a) forward facing
Plan view of a vehicle with a rear facing wheelchair space entered from the side that is 1372 mm (54 inches) long minimum  and is confined in the front and back for a distance of over 380 mm (15 inches).
(b) rear facing

T403 Wheelchair Securement Systems

T403.1 General.  Wheelchair securement systems, including attachments, shall comply with T403.  Wheelchair securement systems shall be capable of securing wheelchairs that can enter and maneuver within an accessible vehicle.  Wheelchair securement systems shall be automatic or easy to operate by a trained person.

T403.2 Orientation.  Wheelchair securement systems shall secure the wheelchair so that the occupant faces the front or rear of the vehicle.  On vehicles more than 6.7 m (22 feet) in length, at least one wheelchair securement system shall be front facing.

Advisory T403.2 Orientation.  Side facing securement is not permitted.

T403.3 Design Force.  Front and rear facing wheelchair securement systems shall comply with T403.2.1 or T403.2.2, as applicable.

T403.3.1 Large Vehicles.  On vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 13,608 kg (30,000 pounds) or more, wheelchair securement systems shall restrain a force in the forward longitudinal direction of 8,800 N (2,000 pounds) minimum for each wheelchair.

T403.3.2 Small Vehicles.  On vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 13,608 kg (30,000 pounds), wheelchair securement systems shall restrain a force in the forward longitudinal direction of 22,000 N (5,000 pounds) minimum for each wheelchair.

T403.4 Movement.  Front and rear facing wheelchair securement systems shall limit the movement of an occupied wheelchair so that no part of the wheelchair that is in contact with the vehicle floor when initially secured in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions moves more than 51 mm (2 inches) in any direction under normal vehicle operating conditions.

Advisory T403.4 Movement.  “In any direction” means no part of the wheelchair that is in contact with the vehicle floor when initially secured moves more than 51 mm (2 inches) horizontally, vertically, or in an arc.  “Normal vehicle operating conditions” are specific to the area where the vehicle operates.  Vehicles that operate in hilly terrain or on winding roads will have more severe constraints than those operating in flat areas.

T403.5 Rear Facing Securement Systems.  Rear facing wheelchair securement systems shall comply with T403.5.

T403.5.1 Forward Excursion Barrier.  A forward excursion barrier shall be provided to prevent an occupied wheelchair from moving toward the front of the vehicle.  The barrier shall extend from the floor to a height of 610 mm (24 in) minimum for the full width of the wheelchair space.

Advisory T403.5.1 Forward Excursion Barrier.  The forward excursion barrier is located at the back of the wheelchair.

 

T403.5.1 Forward Excursion Barrier
A forward excursion barrier shown in plan and elevation to extend from the floor to a height of 610 mm (24 in) minimum for the full width of the wheelchair space.

T403.5.2 Padded Head Rest.  A padded head rest complying with T403.5.2 shall be provided above the forward excursion barrier.

Advisory T403.5.2 Padded Head Rest.  The padded head rest is intended to reduce the possibility of whiplash in a sudden stop.  The padded head rest is positioned approximately in line with the plane of the wheelchair backrest, and the bottom edge of the head rest is positioned to be above the approximate height of the backrest.  Many wheelchair users have backpacks on their wheelchairs.  If the bottom edge of the padded head rest is below the top of the backrest, the head rest may encounter the backpack and prevent the wheelchair from being positioned close to the head rest.

T403.5.2.1 Width.  The padded head rest shall be 255 mm (10 inches) wide minimum, and shall be centered on the wheelchair space.

T403.5.2.2 Height.  The lower edge of the padded head rest shall be 965 mm (38 inches) minimum and 1016 mm (40 inches) maximum above the vehicle floor.  The top edge of the padded head rest shall be 1420 mm (56 inches) minimum above the vehicle floor.

T403.5.2.3 Protrusion.  The plane of the face of the padded head rest shall protrude into the wheelchair space 230 mm (9 inches) minimum and 305 mm (12 inches) maximum measured from the plane of the forward excursion barrier.

 

T403.5.2 Padded Head Rest
Padded head rest  shown in plan and elevation to be 255 mm (10 inches) wide minimum and centered on the wheelchair space at a height of 965 mm (38 inches) to 1016 mm (40 inches), measured to the lower edge, and  1420 mm (56 inches) minimum, measured to the top edge.  The head rest protrudes 230 mm (9 inches) to 305 mm (12 inches) into the wheelchair space, measured from the plane of the forward excursion barrier.

T403.6 Stowage.  When wheelchair securement systems are not in use, the systems shall not protrude into the wheelchair space except as provided in T403.5.2.3, and shall not interfere with passenger movement or pose a hazard.  Wheelchair securement systems shall be reasonably protected from vandalism, and shall be readily accessed when needed for use.

T404 Seat Belts and Shoulder Belts.  Seat belts and shoulder belts provided for passengers who use wheelchairs shall comply with 49 CFR § 571.209.  Seat belts and shoulder belts shall not be used in place of wheelchair securement systems complying with T403 to secure wheelchairs to vehicles.