Ten Tips for a Perfectly Accessible Road Trip

Advance planning is an essential component of a safe and successful road trip. This is especially true for folks with mobility issues. With that in mind, here are some things to keep in mind before you hit the road. Although some of these tips apply to everyone, many of them are especially important to wheelchair-users and slow walkers.

  • Make sure you have emergency road service before you leave home; however remember that very few towing companies have wheelchair-accessible tow trucks. To avoid being stranded on the highway, check out specialty services such as ADA Nationwide Roadside Assistance, which also provides lift-equipped transportation to the garage.
  • Take along a can of Fix-A-Flat tire inflator. It’s quick and easy to use and it beats waiting for the tow truck.
  • If you have an adapted van, carry along the phone number of your van conversion place. That way if you have any problems with the electronics or lift, they can direct you to the nearest repair facility.
  • Make a list of the bicycle repair shops along your route, in case you get a flat tire on your wheelchair. Bicycle shops are usually less expensive that medical equipment repair places.
  • Make a list of wheelchair repair places at the major cities along your route, for more extensive wheelchair problems.
  • Keep your prescription medications in the car, rather than the trunk. The trunk heats up faster than the passenger compartment, and this excessive heat may cause some medications to spoil.
  • For the best accessible restrooms, look for newer fast food restaurants. Most fast food restaurants are consistent in their restroom design; so when you find a restroom that has the access features you need, stick with that fast food chain.
  • Get your America the Beautiful Access Pass from the National Parks Service, as it’s good for free admission to national parks and monuments that you might want to visit along the way.
  • Don’t forget to take your parking placard with you, as it’s valid throughout the US, except in New York City. It’s also a good idea to check with the states that you will be passing through, regarding their accessible parking regulations.
  • Last but not least, if you plan an extended trip, make sure your prescription is up to date, and fill it at chain that is freely available along your route. Remember to schedule some extra time into your itinerary for the refills.

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