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Driving your motorized wheelchair safely on paved roads

A motorized wheelchair can make travel more efficient for you despite your disability. However, when you must drive on paved roads in your community, you have to rely on others to keep surfaces maintained and safe.

Knowing some safety tips for operating your motorized wheelchair can help you protect yourself and reduce your risks of injury.

Find a quality option

A reliable motorized wheelchair will combine durability, function and safety. Consumer Affairs suggests finding a chair that meets your personal requirements in the following areas:

  • Speed
  • Comfort
  • Lifestyle and function
  • Charging capabilities
  • Style and fit for your body

Whether you get a new chair or have just started using a motorized option for the first time, familiarizing yourself with its function can help you feel more confident using it. You can practice using it in areas where there is not any traffic or hazards to maneuver around. Keep your limbs inside the device and avoid reaching too far outside of your chair to prevent tipping and falling.

Follow the rules

Traveling in a motorized wheelchair classifies you as a pedestrian. This means you need to follow all of the traffic rules including watching street signs and signals, crossing streets with care and staying alert to your surroundings. You may also benefit from reading the owner’s manual for your chair so you can better understand how to safely use it in different environments.

You can increase your visibility when you add accessories such as a reflective flag. If you come across areas in your community that require maintenance or lack adequate upkeep, you can reach out to your city and request improvements. You deserve to travel safely in your chair. If you do get injured because of the negligence of another, you may consider filing a lawsuit to help with the compensatory damages you sustained.