American Stroke Foundation

Life SkillsLoading a Wheelchair into a Car

Loading a Wheelchair into a Car

This video describes ways to load and unload a standard wheelchair into the back seat and trunk of a car with minimal lifting required. Be sure to place an old blanket on your car and seats before loading to protect your car from any scrapes!

Loading & Unloading a Wheelchair into the Backseat (0:00-2:05)

To load the wheelchair into the backseat:

  1. Remove the footrests
  2. Fold chair together
  3. Position the wheelchair and lock the brakes
  4. Place front wheels into the car
  5. Tilt the wheelchair into the back seat

To unload the wheelchair, reverse the process. Tilt the wheelchair until the back wheels are touching the ground, then lift the front wheels out of the back seat. Unfold the cushion and put the footrests back on.

Loading & Unloading a Wheelchair from the Trunk (2:06-3:38)

To load the wheelchair into the trunk:

  1. Position the wheelchair so the back wheels and handles are resting on the back of the trunk.
  2. Lock the brakes.
  3. Grab the wheelchair by the front wheels and tilt the handles into the trunk.
  4. Using the car as a lever, swing the back wheels into the trunk and shimmy the wheelchair into the trunk.

To unload the wheelchair from the trunk:

  1. Pull the front wheels toward the front of the trunk.
  2. Lift the front wheels up so the back wheels are resting on the back of the car.
  3. Tilt the wheelchair forward until all four wheels are on the ground.
  4. Unfold wheelchair and remember to release the brake.

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