Safety Tips for Power Chair Users | 888-909-9387 | AllMobilityScooters.com
- Read Your Manual in Detail
Before you start driving your new power chair, be sure to read your user guide from cover to cover. Some of the information may seem dull, but is actually quite important. For example, your manual will explain in detail the kind of surfaces your power chair can and cannot be driven on. Similarly important information on your power chair’s speed, stability, and range will also be included. Knowing your power chair’s limitations will keep you from accidently demanding too much of it, and potentially ending up in an unsafe position.
- Avoid Uneven Surfaces
Even if your power chair or electric wheelchair has been specifically designed to handle outdoor use, it’s still wise to stick to paved surfaces. Rough terrain, like broken up cement or hilly grass, can conceal sharp objects that may scratch or harm your power chair. They also put unnecessary stress on your power chair’s suspension system, and can even cause your wheels to get stuck. If you’re ever unsure whether or not your power chair can safely navigate an uneven surface, just remember that caution is almost always the best bet.
- Approach Inclines with Care
When you go up ramps or other inclines, approach them with caution. Always drive your power chair straight up inclines, and never at an angle. This maximizes the stability of your power chair and the effectiveness of its anti-tip wheels. Before you attempt a particularly steep incline, consult your manual to make sure your power chair is up to the challenge.
- Observe Road Safety
If you plan on using your power chair outdoors, remember to stick to the sidewalks. If you cross the street or drive near cars at any point, it’s important that you observe the rules of the road. Power chairs are vehicles, and should be treated accordingly. Obey all street laws, including right-of-way rules, stop signs, and traffic lights. You should also never assume that cars will see you, and do everything you can to make yourself visible. Reflectors, bright clothing, and a florescent flag attached to your power chair can all help alert motorists to your presence.
- Minimize Distractions
Whether you’re using your power chair indoors or out, it’s important to minimize distractions. Avoid listening to music or talking on the phone while you’re driving your chair. Doing so can slow your reaction time and make it harder to avoid accidents. It can also keep you from hearing important safety warnings and noticing obstacles. Treat your power chair like the powerful machine it is, and don’t do anything you wouldn’t do while driving a car.