Wheelchair Safety

Safety In Stability

Tipping forward is the most common cause of injury for wheelchair riders in the US. In developing countries, poor or unpaved roads make the problem worse. Whirlwind takes safety very seriously.

Our ultra-stable long wheelbase design almost eliminates the risk of falling forward, even while rolling off of curbs without ramps.

Safety In Fit

Even a well-designed wheelchair must be properly fitted to the rider, which can best be done by a trained care provider, to ensure the chair is fitted to the rider’s body size and adjusted properly to provide critical postural support. Secondary injury from a poorly fitted or broken wheelchair can have extreme negative health side effects for the user. New spinal deformities can arise from long hours seated in a chair that does not support the contour of the spine. Joint problems can result from poor ergonomics, which can leave the rider unable to move independently.

RoughRider America offers users a choice of multiple widths and back support heights to ensure proper fit.  RoughRider America supports wheelchair providers in developing countries and customers in the US and Canada with a User’s Manual to guide the chair provider with the correct fitting information.


Wheelchair Safety Products from one of our partners:


Customizing and Ordering My Roughrider

Seat Width

To find the distance between your hips, first position yourself seated with pelvis upright on a firm surface. Then, measure the distance between the widest points of the hips and thighs without compressing any tissue. Finally, record your measurements. It is important not to have a chair that is wider than necessary as it will be harder to push and may prevent you from passing through narrow doorways.

Seat Depth

Position yourself seated upright on a firm surface. Measure the length of your upper leg, the distance from behind the knee to the back of the pelvis (back of your lower leg). Subtract 1/2” to find the maximum seat depth, to allow for space between the back of the knee/upper leg and seat fabric. Record the final measurement.

Backrest Height

Your preferred backrest height is determined by your personal comfort level and physical ability. Whirlwind recommends, generally, that the top of the back support should fall just beneath the bottom of the shoulder blade. For less active riders who require more torso support, the back support should be higher, falling just beneath the armpit. Position yourself seated upright on a firm surface. Hold your hands flat against the surface you are sitting on. Measure the distance from the seated surface to the desired, most comfortable point for support on your back. To this number add the height of your cushion when you are sitting on it. Record the measurement.

Preferred Backrest Angle

Backrest angles are determined by the torso control of the rider. Whirlwind recommends that those with less torso control, such as quadriplegics, sit with a backrest angled further backwards to avoid falling forward in a wheelchair. Those with more torso control, such as amputees, can sit with the backrest more upright. Proper backrest angle is best determined by an occupational therapist or healthcare professional. Although there is only one option – 8 degrees – in the drop-down list below, you can adjust the backrest angle by adjusting the backrest straps (i.e. looser at the bottom and tighter at the top for a more erect position).

Now please enter your measurements into the fields on the product page before ordering. For more information about measuring, please refer to the RoughRider Fitting Sheet. You are responsible for choosing the right chair for yourself. If you are uncomfortable with determining your wheelchair size, please consult a professional.