Sometimes the weather has unpleasant plans in store, regardless of our schedule or where we need to go. Dealing with wet or snowy conditions can make it difficult to move your wheelchair from Point A to Point B, but there are precautions you can take to ensure that you reach your destination safely.
Wheelchair tire traction can quickly become slippery if you are traveling across a snowy or wet sidewalk. Replacing your normal tires with an all-terrain style of tire can help prevent sliding and cut through the snow. In a pinch, you can increase tire traction with this do-it-yourself project using plastic/nylon ties. If you haven’t already, consider applying anti-slip tape to your home wheelchair ramp for better traction when the ramp may be slick.
The combination of cold weather and the strain of pushing your chair through snow can drain powerchair batteries more quickly than usual. Keep this in mind before you head out for the day and make sure your batteries are completely charged.
Electric scooter or powerchair users should do their best to protect their joystick from becoming water damaged. Waterproof joystick covers do a great job of guarding against moisture, but a plastic bag can do just as well if you’re caught in a rainstorm by surprise.
With the sun going down earlier in the winter months, it is crucial that you do what you can to be seen by motorists. Factor in decreased visibility during a rainy or snowy night, and you could find yourself in a dangerous situation when crossing the street. Spoke reflectors or lights are a great way to alert oncoming drivers of your whereabouts.
Having your vehicle regularly inspected will help give you peace of mind when the weather takes a turn. Our trained technicians are available to assist you in your preparations and are just a phone call away. Contact us to schedule a service appointment, or visit our website to learn about the service options we provide.
The most proactive thing you can do to make sure you are ready for severe conditions is to prepare before the weather strikes. Consider the following:
- Keep a set of snow tires in the trunk of your wheelchair accessible van
- Use a bag or other compartment to store rain gear, gloves, hats, and other often-forgotten accessories somewhere on your wheelchair to protect you from the elements
- Always leave home with a full cellphone battery – you never know when you may need to call someone for help
- If possible, bring along an extra battery in case yours dies unexpectedly
- Be sure your wheelchair is in good condition before you leave the house; You don’t want to find yourself caught in the rain or snow with a malfunctioning chair.
It’s impossible to ever be 100% ready for what Mother Nature throws our way, but with these tips, hopefully you will find yourself more prepared when severe weather strikes.
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