Friday, August 6, 2010

Two Weeks, Two Wheelchair Users Killed In Ocala, Florida

Why is wheelchair safety not being taken seriously? Probably because wheelchair users, car drivers and politicans do not perceive wheelchair safety to be an issue. But in the city of Ocala Florida, two wheelchair users were struck and killed by cars in less than two weeks.

On the evening of 29 July, 2010 Bryan Sacks of Summerfield, Florida was trying to cross a busy street in his manual wheelchair and was struck and killed. Only ten days earlier on July 19, 2010 Doyle McClendon of nearby Ocala, Florida was struck and killed in his wheelchair.

More often than not accidents involving cars and wheelchairs happen in the evening when it is dark. Who is to blame? Drivers for not paying attention to wheelchair users? Wheelchair users for not having proper visibility equipment? Politicians for not taking wheelchair safety seriously enough and coming up with some safety requirements for drivers as well as wheelchair users?

If you are a wheelchair user, take wheelchair safety seriously. Understand that in a wheelchair you are lower to the ground than anything else on the road. Drivers do not see you well. Get wheelchair safety equipment. If you are a car driver, slow down when you see a wheelchair user. Wheelchairs can move alot faster than you think.