Road vehicle transportation of children with physical and behavioral disabilities: A literature review

Angela Downie, Angela Chamberlain, Rebecca Kuzminski, Sharmila Vaz, Belinda Cuomo, Torbjörn Falkmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A literature review in 2001 found that children with disabilities were frequently transported in unsafe conditions and further research was required to investigate the gap between regulations, standards and actual transportation practices. Objectives: To synthesize available evidence on the transportation of children with disabilities in road vehicles. Methods: Four databases were systematically searched: CINAHL; Medline; National Transport Library Catalogue (Sweden); and Transport Research International Documentation. Results: Nineteen studies ranging in methodological quality from poor to excellent were included in the review. The findings are presented under the following six major themes: child safety restraints, wheelchairs, vehicles, travel habits, parental and professional knowledge. The results are mapped onto two groups of children, those with behavioral problems and those with physical disabilities. Conclusion: The literature reflected little change across the six major themes since the previous review. Children with disabilities continue to be inappropriately restrained in vehicles, constituting an ongoing road safety problem. There is a strong need to increase parent knowledge, upskill health professionals and provide families with financial assistance to enable them to ensure the safe transportation of children with disabilities to minimize the risk of injury and fatalities on the road, and enhance their participation in the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-322
Number of pages14
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


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