How the Disabled Navigate Winter in Asheville

How the Disabled Navigate Winter in Asheville

It is the most wonderful time of the year here in western North Carolina. The holidays are an opportunity for our area’s high concentration of creative residents and businesses to don the region with the happy apparel of Christmas, Thanksgiving, and winter-themed decorations. Asheville is transformed into a winter wonderland, even if it doesn’t actually include snow.

Of course, being in a higher elevation part of North Carolina means we do have a higher chance of seeing a white Christmas than many others in the state. Beyond the holiday season, winter weather remains a possibility well into March and April, and even May in the highest elevations. 

For those who rely on their wheelchair to help them get around our beautiful area, snow, ice, rain, and the cold can make travel difficult. Here are some tips for navigating Asheville safely during the winter season. 


How to Get Around Asheville During Winter With Your Wheelchair

1) Prepare Your Chair

To make sure you are getting around western North Carolina safely, you need to have your chair serviced and made ready for the season. Here are a few tips to help prepare your chair for getting around Asheville:

  • Whether electric or manual, have your chair cleaned and serviced. 
  • Consider added treaded or studded tires. 
  • Consider letting a little air out of your tires to increase grip. Check with your manufacturer before you take this step. 
  • Make sure there are no signs of damage, rust, or anything that could be exasperated by the effects of cold and wet weather. 

Your chair will thank you for making sure it is prepared for whatever winter can throw at it. 

2) Get Ahead of the Weather

While meteorologists get a lot of heat for forecasting events like winter storms, they generally do provide a lot of helpful information for you getting around this area during the cold season. Getting ahead of the weather will help you plan your travel safely. 

Here’s what you can do to stay weather-aware:

  • Check the National Weather Service for accurate daily and hourly forecasts (your weather app is often lacking in accuracy). 
  • Follow local meteorologists like Jason Boyer on social media for up-to-date weather information. 
  • Make sure you know the forecast for when you leave and when you plan to return. A lot can change in a few hours, or minutes, in western North Carolina. 
  • Make sure you know the forecast for your departure and arrival destinations. A few miles can make a lot of difference in our area.
  • Avoid being out on your chair when the sidewalks and parking lots are icy.

3) Keep You and Your Chair Dry

If you have an electric chair, it is vital to take steps to keep the battery, wiring, and joystick dry. Even with a manual chair, however, moisture can wreak havoc. Take steps to cover sensitive areas and dry your chair if it does get wet. 

4) Avoid Known Trouble Spots

If you have lived in the Asheville area for a few years, you know how much weather conditions can vary from one town to the next. It is likely to be snowing in areas like Weaverville and Mars Hill while the sun is shining downtown. Freezing rain might fall in the valleys, while feet of snow blanket the ridges. 

You also know there are some shady roads, parking lots, and sidewalks that never seem to thaw once it freezes. Take note of trouble spots and try to avoid them, especially when weather threatens. 

5) Keep Your Cell Phone Charged

When you go out and about this winter, make sure you have a fully-charged cell phone with you at all times. Consider bringing a wireless charger or backup battery with you as well. 

The last thing you want is to be stuck out in the cold with no way to call for help. 

6) Don’t Travel Alone 

In addition to bringing a fully-charged cell phone with you, it is a good idea to bring a friend or family member along as well. There are so many potential hazards during winter; it is wise to have someone you can count in the event things go wrong. 

7) Utilize a Quality, Luxurious Shuttle Service

You don't have to travel alone or rely on public transportation this winter. Loyal Lifts Transportation provides luxurious wheelchair-accessible transit to help you get around our wonderful city regardless of the season. 

Hundreds of people just like you rely on us to get to birthday parties, graduation parties, weddings, doctors' appointments, grocery stores, and other appointments. We'll also show you how to get to the lovely areas so you can remember why you came to Asheville in the first place.

You can travel in style with Loyal Lifts if you need wheelchair-accessible transportation in the Asheville area. Since 2017, we've been assisting the elderly and disabled in getting around, and we make sure your travel is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. 

Let our professionals help you care for your loved ones and restore their mobility. Our transportation is dependable, safe, and convenient. Make an appointment with us today to schedule your transportation.