Many people with disabilities often have many questions about different issues. Of course, all states may have various laws on a particular problem. People often ask where you can drive, do you need a license, or how fast you can drive on the sidewalks. Disabled people are also interested in is it illegal for someone in a motorized wheelchair to operate it in the roadway? Such vehicles may not move fast enough. However, you can easily get to a place you want.
Can I Drive on the Roadway on my Motorized Wheelchair?
People who cannot walk by themselves often have to travel to the other end of the city or even further. Special transport is very useful for them. Of course, the wheelchair can ride a long distance when the battery is fully charged. However, is it possible to ride a motorized wheelchair on road at all?
The answer to the question is obvious. I will explain why. Such a vehicle is moving at a low speed, about 4 to 10 miles per hour. So, it will significantly impede the movement of large vehicles. Almost all states do not allow traffic on the roads. Only riding on sidewalks or special paths is allowed.
It is clear that for such transport, you do not even need a license or registration. However, you must follow certain rules that are set for pedestrians. Otherwise, you may be injured. Cars may not see you or, in the worst case, not have time to stop. You don’t want to get hurt, do you?
Where to Ride? Rules & Tips for Wheelchair Drivers
It is considered illegal to drive on the road in the United States. People riding in specialized chairs must follow all the rules of conduct on the roads as pedestrians. The road rules for electric wheelchairs apply to pedestrian crossings, sidewalks, narrow streets, etc. You need to calculate that the dimensions of your vehicle are larger than a pedestrian. So, you should drive carefully so as not to touch anyone. How to behave while driving? Where to go? I will give some important advice.
- Learn the rules and laws of your city or state. Read about the possibility of driving on the sidewalk, road, and roadside.
- Is there a sidewalk? – Great! It is the first option for a safe wheelchair to be in motion.
- Is there a curb for your vehicle? – As well. However, if you see the sidewalk, I still advise you to use it.
- No sidewalk or curb? – Try to drive in front of oncoming traffic on the far side of the road.
- In any case, being on the road can be dangerous. Try to find the sidewalk as soon as possible and move there.
- Follow all the rules written for pedestrians.
- Be careful on crossings, on very crowded parts, sidewalks with children.
- Do not exceed the maximum permissible speed.
- No sharp turns, driving while taking medication, etc.
Traffic on even specialized vehicles can be dangerous in any case. So, remember that a person in a wheelchair is considered a pedestrian. Therefore, follow the rules of the road. Some municipalities even set certain regulations of usage places for people in a wheelchair. Do not endanger yourself and other pedestrians.