Winter conditions pose serious challenges for all modes of travel, especially for wheelchair users.
From slick ice to low temperatures, there are extra steps every individual should take if they live in a cold climate region. Stay safe this winter with these three cold weather tips for wheelchair users:
While this is true for everyone when venturing into the cold tundra of winter, it’s especially important for individuals who primarily sit during mobility. Sitting for long periods of time can affect circulation, and certain medical challenges make it difficult to regulate body temperature. Before leaving your house for the day, dress in layers so you have the ability to adjust to temperature changes if need be. If you use a manual wheelchair, make sure to put on waterproof gloves to prepare for the possibility of snow-covered wheels.
Get Winter Tires
It’s common knowledge that ice lacks friction, which makes for some pretty dangerous conditions. Consider purchasing new tires specifically made for slick surfaces. This equipment usually comes as soft rubber with knobby treads.
If cost is a concern, you can easily modify your current tires with a DIY method. Just purchase zip ties and add them to your tires. If you use a manual wheelchair, make sure whatever solution you choose is comfortable when breaking with your hands.
Have a Backup Power Source
If you use a power wheelchair for primary mobility, make sure to have a backup battery that’s fully charged. Many batteries don’t hold up well in low temperatures. You may also want to consider having a manual wheelchair as a back up in the case that it becomes extremely difficult to keep the batteries charged.
No matter where you live, don’t let winter weather conditions keep you from living your best life.
Take some time to develop your winter travel plan, and then take on all the New Year has to offer!