The start of April can be a time of tricks and pranks, but April showers are no joke. This year, it’s predicted to be a strong El Niño season, so the wet season could be stronger and more dangerous. Even though this time of year is marked for its abundance of rainy days, with preparation, you’ll be able to move around them with ease. Whether you have a wheelchair van or handicap accessible car, prepping the vehicle for all scenarios is a precaution for foreboding weather conditions. Read the following tips for specific ways you can gear up for the rainy season with your mobility vehicle.
Look to NMEDA Dealers for Help
Proper maintenance like checking your battery, power seating and brakes to ensure they’re working effectively is important year-round, but it’s especially important during challenging weather conditions. Before the next storm hits, drive your wheelchair accessible vehicle to a QAP dealer in your area to get specialized care to help ensure safety on the road. After you get mechanical expertise, it’s good to have more than a half a tank of gas so you can prevent the need of going to the gas station in the rain or in bad weather conditions.
Check Your Ramp for Debris
With wind, rain and thunder outside, it’s possible for unwanted articles to sweep into your handicapped accessible vehicle unnoticed. Over time, the build up can cause a fold-out ramp to not deploy or work as it should and delay function. To eliminate this issue, have someone help clear your ramp of any materials that have littered the area. In-floor ramps don’t usually provide this type of problem, but all areas should be inspected to ensure your vehicle is in top shape.
Exercise Caution When Driving
If you must drive during poor weather conditions, hopefully your preparation has left you in a better place. While using the rainy weather driver guidelines—frequently using your windshield wipers, making sure your headlights are on and slowly driving to prevent hydroplaning—you should also tell someone you trust that you’re going out, in case of emergency. Always be careful entering your wheelchair accessible vehicle if there are puddles or other hazards around.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our Quality Assurance Program mobility equipment dealers.