Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Wheelchair Tie Downs

Devices to travel safely with your wheelchair

What does it do?

Wheelchair tie-downs prevent movement during transportation. They keep your wheelchair safe and secure for travel. Some tie-down systems can also make it safe for you to stay in your wheelchair while riding in the car or on the bus.

What kinds of wheelchair tie downs are there?

Manual Restraint System

Wheelchair tie-downs are usually a series of ratchet style devices. They come in fully manual and semi-automatic retractable designs. These products are available from companies like Q’straint, as pictured. You can contact them to learn who installs tie-downs in your area.

Electronic Restraint System

The lock and release mechanism of a wheelchair tie-down system can also be controlled through your car’s electrical system. The straps are tightened automatically. This might be more convenient in small spaces.

Unoccupied Wheelchair Restraint

It is important that your chair is secure in case of a sudden stop or accident. Docking systems are available to fasten your wheelchair in the center of the vehicle. This position lets you transfer into the driver or passenger seat. These systems are not to be used while you are riding in your wheelchair. Learn more about Unoccupied Wheelchair Restraint at BraunAbility. There are also carriers that secure your wheelchair or scooter on a rack outside the vehicle, like the unique Chair Topper system for independent drivers!

Inside a school bus, a man squats beside a child in wheelchair.

How do I see what's new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

wheelchair tie down, wheelchair restraint system, traveling with wheelchair

How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania you would need to find your state's AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out. Do we have this in our lending library?


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Katie Fetterolf

Katie is the Project Coordinator for Pennsylvanias Assistive Technology Lending Library. She is responsible for processing and screening all device loan applications, and for managing and maintaining all lending library equipment. She loves sports. Especially the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles!

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