People who use electric wheelchairs can do things on their own that just weren’t possible in the past. Very often, electric wheelchairs are the best solution for people who can’t stand or can’t stand for long periods. This is due not only to their excellent functionality and comfort but also their safety. Read on to find out more about this and about how to use an electric wheelchair in the right way.
How Safe Are Electric Wheelchairs?
Since an electric wheelchair’s center of gravity is much lower than that of a manual chair, it is much less likely to tip over. Not only that, but accidental rolling is less likely to happen because it is much easier to stop and move on rough terrain. In essence, because you have much more control over the powerchair, you are a lot safer.
However, although, for the most part, powerchairs are much safer than manual wheelchairs, some of this safety will come from the user – this is why it’s crucial to understand how to use an electric wheelchair in the right way and to learn the best options before you start going out and about.
Make Sure You Read The Manual
People often don’t look at the owner’s manual for their powered wheelchair until something goes wrong. The problem is that after a while of using a wheelchair, these booklets are often thrown away or can’t be found. Before using your wheelchair, you should read the owner’s manual to ensure you understand how it works and how to use it properly.
Wear The Seatbelt
It is strongly advised that you always wear your seatbelt when operating your motorized wheelchair. While you probably won’t be able to outrun a car in your wheelchair, the most advanced models can reach speeds of up to 8 mph. No matter how fast you’re going, you could lose your balance and fall out of your wheelchair. Put on your seatbelt every time you use that chair to prevent this from happening.
Carry Out Preventative Maintenance
Take good care of your wheelchair to keep it in good working order and prevent any accidents. This can be achieved by regular upkeep and checks for safety once a week. Wheelchair users should regularly inspect their equipment for corrosion and ensure that their chair is kept clean and dry at all times. If you notice a problem, don’t let it fester; get it fixed right away.
Be Careful When Outdoors
There are lots of things outside that can make it dangerous to use a powered wheelchair. For example, it’s hard for wheelchair users to get around on sidewalks because of tree roots and curbs. Use your electric wheelchair only on flat, smooth surfaces. Don’t use it in the middle of the street, though, because that’s obviously very dangerous.
This is true even if you have an all-terrain type of electric wheelchair. Although these chairs are designed to be more robust, they still won’t last long if you don’t try to keep them on flat sidewalks and paths more often than not.