A much higher percentage of accidents occur with wheelchair vehicles than with ambulatory vehicles, as you are transporting a more medically fragile person. Why? Wheelchairs are complicated instruments, vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer, are difficult to secure, and are typically unstable. Frequently, wheelchair incidents occur when there is no automobile accident, they’re simply as a result of improper wheelchair securement. Insurance companies typically charge more to insure a wheelchair vehicle because its exposure to loss is greater than transporting an ambulatory patient.
A good risk management program for medical transportation companies should include significant training and regular re-training of drivers to ensure they understand the science of wheelchair securement, including the correct way to attach tie-downs and lap belts, and responding to emergency situations.
Establishing a ‘safety first’ corporate culture virtually guarantees to lower the cost of risk and lower insurance premiums over the long term. Instilling in your drivers the need to always double-check that their wheelchair and passenger are completely secure before transport can be the difference between low premiums one year and high premiums the next.