Every year a large number of wheelchairs are hit in traffic accidents. Although the rate of accidents involving power wheel chairs is probably greater than for of non-motorized wheelchairs, all people who use wheelchairs are at risk of becoming a traffic statistic.

Why is it that so many wheelchairs get hit by other vehicles? People who use wheelchairs are regarded as pedestrians and usually, they must respect the same laws as pedestrians. But, wheelchair users are a lot more vulnerable than people on foot for a number of reasons. First, since wheelchair users sit making them lower than people who are standing they're more difficult to see. Next,people in wheelchairs usually travel a lot faster than people on foot. Though the regular speed that people walk is approximately 3 mph, manual wheelchairs generally move about two times that speed and motorized wheelchairs can move three fold faster. Third wheelchair users require flat and unobstructed pavement while walkers are able to walk over obstacles. Lack of sidewalks generally require people who use wheelchairs to go in to vehicular traffic whilst pedestrians are able to walk past obstructions.

What can people who use wheelchairs do to improve wheelchair safety? First, people in wheelchairs have to understand that they are usually harder to spot than pedestrians and quite a few people in cars are not looking for people in wheelchairs. Use extreme awareness, particularly at night. For instance, ensure there is visual contact with a car driver just before going in front of a car and by no means pass behind a car which has its motor running. Next, should you live in in a community which has obstucted walkways think about getting a wheelchair built for easier mobility to reduce the requirment to move onto the street to avoid cracks and holes in the sidewalks. How can you do that? For example, make the center of gravity of the wheelchair altered to be able to tip the wheelchair back in order to pass over obstructions on the side walk. Consider getting big front caster wheels so they are not easily lodged in cracks and holes. Next, people who use wheelchairs ought to use a lights for wheelchair specifically at night. Next, people who use wheelchairs ought to purchase wheelchair reflectors or buy items including wheelchair backpacks or gloves for wheelchair users which are created with reflective materials. With some attention to wheel chair safety, many deaths might be avoided.

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Read more about wheelchair lights and other information for wheelchair users.