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Power Chair or Scooter in the Snow

The time of year is back when getting around on wheels of any kind becomes a challenge.  Driving in the snow and ice takes patience and preparedness. This is also true with a power chair or scooter and you may be surprised how many similarities there actually are between the two. We have gathered some tips for operating your power chair or scooter in the snow.

Keep the Charge

When batteries, whether on a car or power chair, are exposed to severe cold, they lose the capacity they once had to hold charge. In a car, a battery is a little better protected, but in a power chair or scooter, the battery is more exposed.

How much charge does the battery lose in the cold? At zero degrees, a battery on a power chair loses 60 percent of its charge. You can protect the battery by covering it to better insulate it and this will increase your battery’s life and protect it from the elements.

Some don’t use their power chairs as much in the winter months. If this is you, then just make sure to charge your chair at least a few times a week. If you plan on storing your power chair for the winter, be sure to store it in a dry, temperature controlled room.

Navigating Snow and Ice

When it comes to winter weather and its challenges, it is important to maintain your power chair or scooter by taking precautions against the snow, ice, and salt.

Much like roads and driveways need to be properly maintained during snowy weather, outdoor ramps and walkways used by those riding power chairs or scooters also need to be addressed. Losing traction in a wheel chair can cause injuries and damage the chair. This can be avoided by clearing the snow away, and kept away by spreading salt or kitty litter to increase traction and keep the water on the path from refreezing.

To prolong the life of your vehicle, it is good to clean regularly, but especially after being exposed to winter weather conditions. The salted roadways can cause rusting which can cause important parts to your car or power chair to erode. Cleaning off the car or the power chair will help maintain its protection and appearance by preventing rust and disrepair.

You also need to make sure there are proper tires on your power chair or scooter, just as you would make sure your car’s tires are able to perform safely in snowy weather.  Traction is a very important factor when operating a power chair or scooter in the snow.

Have a Backup Plan

If you have to go out in questionable weather make sure to have a backup plan if things get slick. A good idea is to have a relative or friend who can pick you up if the weather turns severe. It’s best to stay in if the weather is questionable, but realistically you’ll have errands and appointments to get to in the winter months so just make sure to commit to extra planning to compensate.

Maintaining a comfortable body temperature is a challenge for those using a power chair or scooter outside because they are more exposed to the cold. Dressing properly is of the utmost importance. Layering clothing and making sure you have a waterproof coat and pants will greatly help.

Operating a power chair or scooter in the snow needs special attention during winter months in order to work better for longer.

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