Riding upfront in your wheelchair alongside the driver is a much more sociable and comfortable way to travel. You can chat, control the music and have a much better view. It is an increasingly popular choice for passengers and is the perfect solution to enable you to sit in the front of your adapted vehicle.
Sirus Automotive, which designs wheelchair accessible vehicles, shares the experiences of three customers who have benefited from travelling in this way.
Advantages of travelling upfront as a passenger
Enjoy longer journeys
Travelling upfront next to the driver means you can enjoy longer journeys with your companion.
Unlike sitting in the back, you’ll be able to have a conversation with the driver easily without having to raise your voice or them having to crane their neck to hear you.
It means you don’t feel like you’re in a taxi, but instead an equal passenger, just like anyone else.
Experience a smoother ride
Sitting upfront can reduce vibrations and bumps experienced whilst sitting in the back, so this can be the ideal solution if you have back pain or spinal injuries.
It can also feel more cramped and confined, whilst sitting in the front gives you more space and a feeling of more freedom.
No need to transfer
You can save valuable time and energy by travelling in your wheelchair as it eliminates the need to transfer to a standard car seat.
Find out more about upfront wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV), including how they work, the benefits and the costs, by visiting the Sirus website.
Travel upfront – hear first-hand experiences
Being in the back made me ill and stopped me from going out
“Before I came across Sirus I had a WAV where I sat in the back. It was just awful. I wouldn’t even go out of the house unless I had an appointment.
I used to suffer from such bad travel sickness as the ride was so bumpy. Even going to the supermarket, if I had a coffee whilst I was out, I was often sick on the way home.
One day, we went to Dartmoor so I took a travel sickness tablet. It was a disaster as I slept all the way there, felt so sleepy on our short visit, and slept all the way home! So I really didn’t get to see anything at all.
Now I have a Sirus Upfront Passenger we can literally go anywhere. We regularly go on days out and frequently go to Exmouth and Dartmoor, which I can actually enjoy now. Last night we drove to Exeter to see Disney on Ice, which was fabulous.
I am now really enjoying life as I can sit next to my husband and see out of the window”. Read Pauline Evans’s story to find out more about how an upfront wheelchair accessible vehicle changed her life.
Riding upfront makes me feel normal
“I cannot begin to explain how important it is to us as a family that I can sit in the front and have some level of normality.
With my Sirus upfront passenger vehicle conversion, I feel just like a ‘normal’ passenger. It is comfortable, I can see out of the windscreen and being able to sit next to my wife again is amazing.
It is, of course, more expensive to sit upfront as opposed to the rear, and before I tried it, it would have been difficult to justify the added expense. But after six years of sitting in the back and experiencing uncomfortable journeys, I realised that it is worth it.
Unfortunately, with the first WAV someone gets, they may not realise how important this is either. Sitting in the back was so uncomfortable as I was over the rear wheels. Going over speed bumps was actually painful and my head felt like it was going to hit the roof.
We used the Motability Scheme to fund the vehicle. I surrender my monthly PIP Mobility Allowance/DLA and there are grants available to help fund advance payments. I could not be happier with my Sirus upfront passenger WAV”.
Travelling upfront is better for my health and wellbeing
“Travelling upfront as a passenger is so much better than being in the back. I can also see more out the windows and I don’t feel like I am in a confined space like I did when I travelled in the back of my old wheelchair access car.
In addition, as I am a softly spoken person and struggle with my hearing, it is nice to be able to have a conversation with the driver through the journey.
Being side-entry makes it so much easier too. It means you don’t have to worry about someone parking too close or walking around the back, which is the case with most wheelchair access cars when the tailgate opens.
Also, because the floor is flat throughout, it is a lot easier to drive my wheelchair into place and this makes the journey much smoother”.
Read Stephanie Leaf’s full story to find out more about her experiences of travelling upfront.
Prefer to be in the driving seat in your wheelchair?
If you prefer to drive, Sirus has the solution. With a range of wheelchair accessible vehicles designed to enable you to drive from your wheelchair, or drive and transfer to a standard driver’s seat, you can be in control.
Sirus can fit bespoke driving adaptations to suit you.
Want to drive and travel upfront in your adapted vehicle?
You don’t have to choose between the two you can have the best of both worlds.
The Sirus Ford Drive/Upfront is designed to enable you to drive from your wheelchair or travel upfront as a passenger from the comfort of your wheelchair.
Our unique design allows you to switch between being a wheelchair driver and the upfront passenger position.
The front seats can safely and easily be detached and moved to the opposite side. For ease, they are on transfer wheels so no lifting is required.
The conversion has a lowered floor throughout the front of the vehicle, meaning you have exceptional interior space for a compact vehicle and excellent visibility.
Our design includes quality sound insulation to ensure low noise levels, offering an unrivaled car-like experience.
Sirus also provides a car adaptations service in the Midlands area and can fit a wide range of solutions to assist drivers and passengers.
With a Motability Contract Hire Agreement, your vehicle maintenance, servicing, breakdown cover and insurance are included. Many of our customers also apply for a Motability charitable grant towards the cost of the advance payment.
Thinking about a wheelchair accessible vehicle?
If you would like to know more, speak to one of our experienced Mobility Specialists at Sirus for a chat or to book a free home demonstration and test drive.
By Sirus Automotive