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Wheelchair Safety: What You Can Do About It

Wheelchair safety impacts everyone, drivers and wheelchair users alike. This article gives ideas about how wheelchair safety can and must be improved.

Every year a large number of people who use wheelchairs are involved in traffic accidents. Although the incidence of accidents for electric wheelchairs is most likely higher than that of non-motorized wheelchairs, all wheelchair users risk being struck by a vehicle.

Why is it that so many wheelchairs are hit by other vehicles? People in wheelchairs are thought to be pedestrians and in most cases, they follow the same laws as pedestrians. However, people in wheelchairs are much more vulnerable than people on foot for many reasons. First, because wheelchair users are sittting and therefore are lower than pedestrians they are more difficult to notice. Second, people in wheelchairs usually travel a lot faster compared to people on foot. The normal speed that people walk is roughly three miles per hour, non-motorized wheelchairs can move twice as fast and motorized wheel chairs can move up tothree times as fast. Next wheelchairs require unobstructed side walks while pedestrians are in a position to go over obstructions. Lack of unobstructed sidewalks usually require people who use wheelchairs to move into the street and into traffic while on the other hand pedestrians are able to walk around obstacles.

What can people in wheelchairs do to improve wheelchair safety? First, people in wheelchairs have to understand that they're usually tougher to see than foot traffic and quite a few drivers are simply not looking for people who use wheelchairs. Use caution, specially at night. For example, make certain there is eye contact with a driver of the vehicle prior to crossing in front of the vehicle and by no means pass in back of a car which has its motor running. Second, if you live in in a community with obstucted walkways think about owning a wheelchair produced for improved mobility in order to minimize the requirment to go to the street in order to avoid obstructions. How can you do that? For instance, have the center of gravity of the wheelchair altered in order to make the wheelchair tippy to go over cracks and holes in the sidewalk. Think about using big front wheels so that they're not very easily stuck in holes. Third, people who use wheelchairs must get a wheelchair light specifically at night. Next, people who use wheelchairs should purchase wheelchair reflectors or buy accessories for example wheelchair bags or wheelchair gloves that are developed with reflective materials. With some attention to wheel chair safetyFeature Articles, a great number of serious injuries could be avoided.

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