WTORSWheelchair Tiedown and Occupant Restraint Systems
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These differences in loading must be considered in the design of WTORS and wheelchairs to assure wheelchair user safety in both frontal and rear impacts.
Abbreviations: ANSI/RESNA = American National Standards Institute/Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, ATD = anthropomorphic testing device, ISO = International Organization for Standardization, LB = lap belt, ORS = occupant restraint system, SAE = Society of Automotive Engineers, SB = shoulder belt, TC = Technical Committee, UMTRI = University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, WTORS = wheelchair tiedown and occupant restraint systems.
The most common type of WTORS uses a four-point strap system to secure the wheelchair.
To address these needs in the absence of adequate federal legislation to address safety concerns for wheelchair-seated travelers, national and international efforts were initiated in the 1980s and 1990s to develop voluntary safety standards for WTORS and wheelchairs.
The dummy was seated in a rigid wheelchair similar to the Society of Automotive Engineers J2252 surrogate [30], though a lower mass of 37 kg was used because testing the WTORS was not a goal of these tests.
WTORS that meet this standard are dynamically tested with a crash-test dummy in a simulated 30mph/20g frontal impact.
More information about how to provide safer transportation for wheelchair-seated travelers, as well as manufacturers of WTORS and wheelchairs with the transit option can be found at www.travelsafer.org.
SAE J2249 specifies numerous design and performance requirements for WTORS. The most important requirement, however, is that the wheelchair tiedown and occupant restraint system demonstrate effective performance when dynamically loaded by a 187-lb test wheelchair and a 170-lb adult crash dummy in a 30-mph, 20-g frontal impact test.
Only recently has the federal government approved regulations regarding standards for WTORS for transit and school buses.
It's now up to consumers and the people responsible for transporting children in wheelchairs to learn about these new standards, and to request information from wheelchair and WTORS manufacturers that show their products to be in compliance with the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and ANSI/RESNA WC-19 (American National Standards Institute; RESNA is an association for the advancement of rehabilitation).
"Disuse" and "misuse" of WTORS has been shown to place wheelchair-seated passengers at greater risk of injury.