HOW WILL I KNOW THAT I AM USING MY VEHICLE PURCHASED ONINE IN A PROPER AND SAFE MANNER?
You will never know for sure unless an individual trained in the proper operation can observe you using the equipment, a service usually provided as part of a face-to-face purchase. Internet sellers may only provide a manual or video on the use of their product; whereas, a local retailer will personally train you and be able to observe the interaction between you, your wheelchair, and the vehicle systems to ensure that you know how to operate the vehicle and adaptive equipment in a safe manner. PROPER TRAINING ON THE USE OF ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT CAN GREATLY REDUCE THE RISK OF INJURY TO YOU, YOUR PASSENGERS/DRIVER AND THOSE AROUND YOU. NEVER COMPROMISE ON TRAINING! Proper training on driving controls is done by a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist, CDRS, with whom a local retailer should have contacts and can coordinate. For more information on CDRSs go to www.ADED.org
CAN I TAKE MY VEHICLE THAT I PURCHASED ONLINE TO A LOCAL RETAILER FOR TRAINING?
Usually not. Many local dealers do not wish to take on the training responsibility for products that they do not sell. They do not want to give improper or incomplete information on products that they do not represent and for which they may be held liable in the event of an accident.
WILL THE INTERNET SELLER SEND A REPRESENTATIVE TO ME FOR TRAINING IF I REQUEST IT?
Commonly not. Generally, internet sellers do not have regional representatives. Certainly ask, and if the answer is “yes” make sure to inquire about any extra costs.
SINCE I HAVE USED ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT FOR MANY YEARS, SHOULDN'T I BE ABLE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO USE AN ONLINE PRODUCT SAFELY MYSELF?
Very possibly no. Regardless of your experience, the adaptive equipment industry is evolving at a rapid rate with new safety features and technology being introduced frequently.
ARE TRAINING AND USAGE ISSUES THE ONLY SAFETY CONCERNS?
No. As mentioned in the previous section, many safety issues are related to federal standards that are designed to reduce the chances that your vehicle is involved in an accident, and if an accident does occur, reduce the chances of substantial personal injury. Keep in mind that compliance with FMVSS is not only designed for your protection, but also for the protection of pedestrians, and other vehicles on the road.