Traveling Over The Festive Season? Here Are 12 Safety Tips For Disabled Drivers

What precautions should be taken while driving during the holidays? How do you prepare for winter driving? What are the most important holiday driving safety tips? These are important questions every driver needs to consider before traveling over the festive season.

Most holiday driving safety tips are obvious and should be familiar to all drivers. However, other considerations can often be overlooked. It is crucial that you follow good holiday travel safety advice when driving in December. Knowing how to drive safely on winter roads will mean you and your loved ones stay safe while traveling these holidays.

Driving on winter roads during the festive season is often hazardous. The weather is usually cold and snow and ice can make roads slippery. Disabled drivers need to take extra care when traveling by road over the holidays; if you have a disability, you may need to consider additional precautions, like packing extra safety equipment and medication.

Dr Handicap - winter roads
Image by egorshitikov on Pixabay: Icy roads can be a hazard when driving over the festive season.

Let’s dive into 12 important festive season safety tips for disabled drivers.

1. Make Sure Your Vehicle Has All Necessary Adaptations

Disabled driver vehicle adaptations come in many forms, all of which make it possible for people with disabilities to drive their own vehicle safely and comfortably. When you are driving this festive season, make sure that your vehicle is kitted out with any and all of the vehicle adaptations that you need.

Some of the most popular vehicle adaptations for disabled drivers are:

  • Hand controls
  • Pedal and steering wheel extensions
  • Wheelchair lifts and ramps
  • Transfer seats
  • Reduced effort braking systems
  • Left foot accelerators

2. Make Sure Your Vehicle Is In Tip-Top Condition

Before you travel, make sure your vehicle is in perfect condition. Check that:

  • All lights are working
  • Tires are in good condition and fully pumped up
  • Fluid levels are where they should be
  • There are no leaks under the vehicle
  • Wipers are working
  • Warning lights are working
  • Your car battery is healthy

3. Know What Traffic Conditions Will Be Like On Your Journey

Take traffic conditions into account when planning your journey. If you can travel during periods when roads are less busy, and less treacherous, try to do so. It will make your journey quicker and safer.

4. Keep Informed About The Weather

Make sure to keep up to date on weather conditions on your route. Ice, snow, wind, rain, hail, and storms can all make driving more dangerous. Try to avoid traveling during extreme weather conditions.

5. Pack Any Medication You May Need

Always remember to pack any medication you may need on your journey. It is a good idea to bring more medication than you intend to take in case you get delayed or stranded. Make sure there is easy-to-see identification on your medication, as well as any allergies advice, in case you get involved in an accident and are unable to communicate with first responders.

6. Have All Necessary Safety Equipment In Your Vehicle

You should have all of the following safety equipment with you in your vehicle when you travel:

  • First aid kit
  • Drinking water
  • Spare medication
  • Cell phone and car mobile phone charger
  • Warm clothes and blankets
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Reflective triangles and a reflective vest
  • Spare tire, tripod jack, wheel wrench
  • Tool kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Duct tape
  • Snow shovel, snow brush, cat litter for traction
  • Windshield washer fluid

7. Stay COVID-Safe

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is very important to stay COVID-safe, particularly throughout the holidays. This may mean bringing additional hygiene and safety products with you when you travel this festive season. At a minimum, make sure you have the following:

  • Face masks and/or face shields
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Rubber gloves
Dr Handicap - holiday travel
Image by Hans on Pixabay: Always check what weather conditions will be like when you travel over the holidays.

8. Practice Defensive Driving

Always drive like your life depends on it… because it does. Some of the most important core tenets of safe defensive driving are:

  • Have SAFETY as a first priority.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings.
  • Don’t rely on good driving from other road users.
  • Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
  • Drive within the speed limit.

9. Avoid Distractions While Driving

This should be a no-brainer. But unfortunately, it is still all too common to see people not paying proper attention when driving. Using a mobile device, playing with the stereo system, chatting to other people in the vehicle… It is easy to get distracted when driving, especially when on a long journey. But it’s vital to avoid distractions, because it only takes a split second to lose control of your vehicle.

10. Stay Alert And Wide Awake While Driving

When driving on long journeys, it is easy to get sleepy. But drowsy driving is extremely dangerous. Make sure you are wide awake and alert while driving. If you feel even remotely sleepy, pull over and rest, get some fresh air, or get a coffee. Do whatever you need to do to stay wide awake while driving.

11. Never Drive Under The Influence

This one should also be completely obvious, but it is so important that it needs to be said: NEVER drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes any legal drugs or medications that may make you drowsy or compromise your ability to be fully alert and capable of driving safely.

12. Don’t Forget Your Disabled Parking Placard

Finally, always remember to bring your disabled parking placard with you when you travel. Disabled parking permits from all US states are valid in every other US state (as well as several other countries, including Mexico, Canada, the UK, and the EU). So wherever you’re traveling this festive season, you will most likely be able to use your disabled parking placard when you’re there.

Featured image by Taras Zaluzhnyi on Unsplash

Is Disabled Parking Free In Disney World?

Disney World in Orlando, Florida is one America’s most famous tourist attractions. The iconic and much-loved resort holds a wide variety of magical attractions, including an enormous theme park, several themed hotels, restaurants, theatres, and events venues. In Disney World, there is something for all the family, with attractions that will appeal to infants, young children, teens, adults, and even grandparents.

Disney World has infrastructure and policies in place that are designed to make the resort as disability-friendly as possible. Lots of Disney World’s customers have some type of mobility issue or disability and the resort holds accessibility as a very high priority. It also has a legal obligation to adhere to the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Dr Handicap - disney
Image by Brian McGowan on Unsplash: Disney World is accessible to disabled guests.

Visiting Disney World With Mobility Issues

While having certain disabilities may mean that some restrictions and limitations are inevitable, being disabled need not curtail your fun at Disney World. The resort has a well-thought-out set of measures in place that are designed to make its attractions and amenities as accessible as possible.

Every effort is made by the resort and its staff to make as many of Disney World’s attractions accessible to disabled visitors and their families.

Disabled Parking At Disney World

Disney World has plenty of disabled parking. Handicap parking spaces are located throughout the resort, placed as close to entrances and amenities as possible. You must have a valid disabled parking permit to park in disabled spaces at Disney World.

If you do not have a valid disabled parking permit, you can request to park at the end of a lot, nearer to entrances, and staff will attempt to accommodate your request.

Is Disabled Parking Free In Disney World?

Disabled parking is not free throughout Disney World. However, in certain areas of the resort, disabled permit-holders may avail of free parking.

In the main resort car parks, disabled drivers must pay the standard fee to park. The standard fees are:

  • Value Resorts – $15 per night
  • Moderate Resorts – $20 per night
  • Deluxe Resorts – $25 per night

Valet parking, which is only available at Disney World’s Deluxe Resorts, is free for disabled parking permit-holders.

Do You Need A Special Disabled Parking Pass At Disney World?

Unlike at many major outdoor attractions such as the main National Parks, there is no Disney World disabled parking pass that you need to apply for. A standard disabled parking placard or license plate is all you need to be able to use disabled parking spaces in Disney World.

What Kinds Of Disabled Parking Are Available At Disney World?

Disney World has three types of disabled parking spaces:

  • Accessible parking spaces for cars
  • Accessible parking spaces for vans (one-sided entry)
  • Accessible parking spaces for vans (two-sided entry)

Parking lots at Disney World supply wheelchairs for guests with mobility issues to use if they need to.

Where Is Disabled Parking Located At Disney World?

In all of Disney World’s parking lots, disabled parking spaces are located closest to the entrance of the amenity that the lot serves.

Do Out-Of-State Disabled Parking Permits Work In Disney World?

Disabled parking permits from any US state, as well as the UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and any EU country, are valid at Disney World.

Is There Handicap Parking At Magic Kingdom?

Magic Kingdom is one of the most famous attractions at Disney World. Good news: there is handicap parking at Magic Kingdom! It is situated near the front of the Ticket and Transportation parking lot and is available for holders of all types of disabled parking permits. A standard parking fee of $25 applies.

Does Disney World Have A Disability Pass?

Disney World has a Disability Access Service (DAS) card that is available to guests with disabilities. DAS cards help guests who are not able to wait in a queue environment due to a disability. DAS cards are available from Guest Relations offices at the main entrances to the resort. They enable the holder to be given a return time at attractions so they do not need to queue.

Dr Handicap - Disney theme park
Image by aliwigle on Pixabay: Disney World’s Disability Access Service card is available to disabled guests.

How Do You Get A Disabled Parking Permit?

If you are planning to visit Disney World and you have a disability, but have not yet got a disabled parking permit, now is a good time to apply. The easiest way to apply for a disabled parking permit is to arrange an online consultation with a medical professional through Dr. Handicap.

Once your disability has been verified, the examining doctor will fill in the relevant sections of a disabled parking application form. You can then submit the form to the disabled parking authorities in your state and you will soon receive your permit.

Featured image by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

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