When you have mobility difficulties and find that a conventional wheelchair is no longer suitable for you, a power wheelchair can be the perfect solution. It will allow you to travel around your community with a high degree of independence, which can be empowering — particularly if your medical condition has limited your independence in the past. There are many different things to think about when you shop for a power wheelchair, but safety should always be at the forefront of your mind. Many modern chairs are equipped with a wide range of safety features. Here are three that are useful.
Collision Avoidance System
A lot of street vehicles have collision avoidance systems, which are designed to alert the driver to the possibility of a collision and even take steps to lower this risk. You'll also find power wheelchairs that are equipped with a collision avoidance system. The specific functionality of this system can vary based on which wheelchair you buy. However, you can expect that if the wheelchair senses a possible collision — for example, if you're approaching a parked vehicle too quickly — it will alert you so that you can slow your speed or change your path.
Low Battery Warning
One safety risk that some people don't think about when they have a power wheelchair is a battery that dies. Initially, this might seem like more of an inconvenience than a safety issue, but your safety could be in jeopardy. For example, if your wheelchair's battery were to die while you're crossing a street or driving along the side of the road, you might worry about a vehicle hitting you. Many power wheelchairs have a low battery warning, which is an indicator that alerts you to an issue with the battery that requires prompt attention.
Tipping over in your power wheelchair is another risk that you must try to avoid. Tipping can occur on an incline, particularly when you travel across an incline rather than straight up or down it. While safe driving can limit your risk of tipping, it's also handy if you have a wheelchair that has an anti-tip warning. This safety feature senses when the wheelchair is approaching an unsafe angle and alerts you. You can then adjust the position of the chair until the warning screen indicates that you're once again in a safe position. Keep these safety features in mind when you evaluate power wheelchairs.
Contact a power wheelchair retail store to learn more.