10 Tips to Winterize Your Accessible Vehicle - The Mobility Resource

10 Tips to Winterize Your Accessible Vehicle

March 18, 2024

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Winter brings its own set of challenges, especially for people with disabilities and their accessible vehicles. From icy roads to freezing temperatures, navigating safely becomes a top priority.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, 70% of the nation’s roads are located in snowy regions, locations that receive an average of five inches or more of snowfall each year. Each year, 24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement and 15 percent happen during snowfall or sleet.

Icy streets pose an increased danger for individuals with disabilities. That’s why it’s important to winterize your accessible vehicle.

Here are our ten tips to maintain your accessible vehicle before winter sets in:

1. Starter and battery

Cold weather can drain your vehicle’s battery faster, so a full charge is important. Pack jumper cables as a quick solution in case your battery dies unexpectedly.

2. Inspect and rotate your tires

Be sure the treads on your tires are not worn. Low air pressure can reduce traction, so fill your tires with air if needed.

3. Vehicle fluids

Ensure all fluids, including oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluid, are at the proper levels to maintain vehicle functionality and safety during winter.

4. Check your heater and defroster

It’s important to check your heater and defroster to keep you warm and ensure clear visibility in cold weather.

5. Keep a full fuel tank

A full tank helps prevent moisture buildup in the fuel lines, which can freeze in cold temperatures, potentially causing starting issues. Having a full tank provides added safety in case of unexpected delays or emergencies.

6. Inspect your wheelchair ramp/lift

Harsh conditions can affect how your vehicle’s wheelchair ramp/lift functions. By identifying and addressing any issues ahead of time, you can prevent potential breakdowns and maintain full accessibility.

7. Change your windshield wipers and wiper fluid

Replacing your windshield wipers and topping off your wiper fluid is essential for maintaining visibility and safety while driving, especially during the winter months.

8. Wash the brine/salt off your vehicle

If your town or city covers streets with brine or a salt solution before a winter storm, be sure to wash your vehicle to prevent rust and corrosion.

9. Pack an emergency kit

Include essentials like a first aid kit, ice scraper, shovel, road flares, flashlight, blankets, hand or feet warmers, a coat, and a charged cellphone. Being prepared can help ensure safety and comfort during unexpected situations on the road in winter.

10. Keep up regular maintenance

Regular maintenance is key for keeping your vehicle in good condition, ensuring reliable performance and safety.

Safeguard Your Wheelchair Van Today

Take the first step toward finding your ideal winterization solution. If you need maintenance assistance from your wheelchair van dealer, navigate to our Find a Dealer page and give them a call to schedule an appointment.

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