With summer approaching, it is the perfect time of year to take advantage of warmer weather and easier access to your favorite places. If you are planning to spend more time zipping around town in your wheelchair accessible vehicle, make sure you are prepared for any roadside emergencies you might encounter. It is important to have backup plans, safety gear, and important resources on hand, particularly for longer road trips. Check out these useful tips for keeping yourself safe on the road by preparing your wheelchair accessible vehicle for unexpected emergencies.
Create A Backup Plan
When you head out on the road, you are expecting to use your wheelchair accessible vehicle to get where you are going. What happens though if your mobility vehicle breaks down and cannot be quickly repaired? Do you have a backup plan? Think about the road you will be traveling. If you need to get somewhere without your vehicle will there be a sidewalk you can easily access? If you know you will be traveling in areas where you might run into difficulty should you need to get somewhere without the use of your van, create a backup plan. Talk to a friend who has a mobility vehicle and ask them if they can be your backup plan in case of a major breakdown. If you are traveling out of town, look into local resources. Are there taxis and other accessible transportation options available in case your vehicle needs to spend some time in the shop?
Pack Emergency Tools & Resources
You may think your road trip will be a short five hour drive to your first destination, however, always plan for the possibility of being stranded on the side of the road for a while. Make sure you bring important resources you might need and make sure they are easy to access. Do you have certain medications that are important? Make sure you bring along these medications, even if you expect to be home before it is time to take them. Create an emergency kit for your vehicle that contains some of the following helpful items:
Flares or other roadside light markers: If you breakdown at nighttime it is critical that you have emergency markers on hand to alert vehicles of your presence.
- Seatbelt cutters: If you ever need to get out of your vehicle quickly due to an emergency, it is important to have something that can cut through seat belts or other straps.
- Flashlights: When night falls, having a flashlight will be handy for navigating your vehicle’s interior and can help when you want to repair something minor.
- Blankets: Even in the summer, evenings can be chilly. It never hurts to have extra blankets on hand for keeping warm.
- Jumper cables: If your vehicle needs a jump, a pair of jumper cables could mean the difference between getting back on the road in a few minutes and sitting in the dark for hours.
- Small toolkit: Purchase a toolkit designed for vehicles with some basic items that can help you out when you’re in a pinch.
- Spare tire: Make sure before you head out on a road trip that you not only have a spare tire in your vehicle, but that you have the tools needed to use it.
Make sure you also understand how to operate the manual backup systems in case of electrical failures. If, for example, your ramp will not operate, know how to use the manual override. The manual backup systems are designed to ensure you can operate any critical component of your wheelchair accessible vehicle even in the case of an emergency.
One of the best ways you can prepare for emergencies is by preventing any vehicle breakdowns through proper maintenance. Make sure you schedule regular oil changes, have your tires inspected, and ensure your transmission and engine are operating smoothly.
Ready to enjoy the freedom of mobility? Contact our team to learn more about new and used wheelchair accessible vehicles in Winnipeg. We look forward to helping you find the perfect vehicle for your specific needs.