It may surprise some to learn that wheelchair users can drive certain cars, but it’s true. If you’re a wheelchair user considering getting back onto the road, you should know that opportunities are available. That said, you should take time to prepare carefully, whether you’re completely new to driving or you’re getting back behind the wheel. How do you prepare successfully for this transition? Keep reading to find three effective driving tips for wheelchair users.
Choose Your Vehicle Wisely
Not every vehicle is going to be easily accessible for wheelchairs. Luckily, you can find various cars that feature a wheelchair-accessible design, so it all comes down to clarifying such details with the manufacturer. Moreover, don’t assume your options are small because you need a specialized vehicle.
What features do you want for a comfortable driving experience? Beyond the wheelchair accessibility, account for your driving habits, such as the type of terrain or weather your car will have to drive through. Personalization is possible, so don’t overlook the little things when purchasing a car. Once you have the vehicle, sharpening your skills behind the wheel is essential.
Handle Road Rage Like a Champ
“Don’t get mad” is easier to say than do—we know. However, road rage is important to address here for drivers who have been off the road for a while. When you’re getting used to driving again, don’t let angry drivers take your attention from responsible road habits. Of course, if someone is honking at you because you’re not moving at a green light, that’s a bit different.
When it comes to people cutting you off for no reason, you can let go if no one gets hurt. Plus, aggressive drivers are among the daily problems that wheelchair users face, so your driving anger will be difficult to ignore. The sooner you learn to deal with road rage, the sooner you’ll become a great driver. Consider having calming audio ready to go on your radio, such as good music or a favorite podcast.
Maintain the Chair and Car
At this point, we probably don’t have to tell you that your wheelchair requires maintenance to remain functional and comfortable. However, one effective driving tip for wheelchair users is to remember that maintenance is equally critical here. Just as you would with a new wheelchair, read the owner’s manual to find important details about vehicle upkeep.
These details will include when to replenish fluids in your car, what those fluids are, how to identify proper tire pressure levels, what dashboard warning lights mean, and more. The more familiar you become with the car, the easier you can care for it. This results in a better experience on the road every time.