Your safety along with the safety of your passengers and all others on the roadway is a serious consideration when purchasing and using an adaptive vehicle. The following are the four main issues that relate to, and assist with, your safety:
- NMEDA and QAP - Quality Assurance Program - NMEDA provides its members with information and services that make them the most informed and quality minded companies in the industry. NMEDA also provides its members with technical support and represents them and you to the various regulatory agencies so that future regulations consider the needs of the adaptive vehicle industry. NMEDA administers a Quality Assurance Program (QAP) that requires that all participating members be inspected by an independent engineering firm to monitor quality, compliance and other company issues such as insurance and proper registration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The QAP is a voluntary program and participating dealers agree to abide by industry guidelines, developed by NMEDA, in regard to the procedures and process they follow when modifying vehicles. Dealers participating in this process and therefore abiding by the Guidelines, make a substantial effort in both time and money to ensure that their company is evolving with the industry and staying educated. Using these dealers as your source for adaptive equipment can increase the chance that you will receive a vehicle that complies with industry safety standards and that the process of modifying and delivering your modified vehicle to you is done in a manner designed to reduce the chances of undesired catastrophic events.
- NHTSA Registration - NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) is a federal government agency that, through the Department of Transportation, develops and enforces safety regulations for OEMs. All dealers of adaptive equipment are required to be registered with NHTSA and sell adaptive vehicles and modifications that comply with the regulations. Call 888-DASH-2-DOT (888-327-4236) or go to http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/adaptive/Modifier/Index.cfm to verify your dealer is registered.
- FMVSS - Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards - These are regulations developed and administered by NHTSA that primarily apply to OEMs. You, as a consumer, would require a substantial amount of education to determine if your adaptive vehicle and modifications are in compliance with FMVSS. Always ask your dealer about how they conform to FMVSS and how these regulations relate to your modifications.
- Delivery Process - The Delivery Process is the term used to describe the method by which the dealer provides you with your completed vehicle. This process should be very thorough and never rushed. Your proper education on how to use and maintain your adaptive equipment and vehicle is crucial in reducing the chances of personal injury to you or those who use your vehicle. During this process you should receive and review the owner's manuals from each piece of adaptive equipment in your vehicle with your dealer. This is also the time to determine your responsibilities to ensure that the equipment stays in safe and good operating condition.