A Difficult Dilemma: A major snowfall blocks the sidewalks, an elderly person needs to make an essential trip, a medical scooter without proper warnings and reflective materials travels onto a lane of busy roadway.

It is surprising that more elderly riders of medical scooters are not struck by other traffic on winter days when there is a large snowfall. As shown in the photo above, sidewalks are often caked with heavy snow making it impossible for a medical scooter to travel on the sidewalk. Thus the scooter ends up travelling in the lane of a roadway. In the above photo the rider’s dark clothing in contrasted well against the white of the snow, the visibility is relatively good, and there is no other traffic present.

But there is a reason why this roadway has four lanes. It means that this is a busy road. Actually it is Adelaide Street in London, Ontario, just north of Oxford Street. Everyone in London knows that Adelaide Street is a busy arterial roadway and it is just luck that at the time this photo was taken there is no traffic around. When combined with heavy traffic, poor visibility and no reflective clothing or a flag mounted to the scooter, this presents a dangerous situation. And it is not such a rare occurrence as one might think.

Consideration should be given when providing a scooter to an elderly person that they also be provided with warnings and training to make them aware of the dangers that exist when riding in a live lane. The issue is not always that simple because many elderly are isolated and end up fending for themselves and without other methods of transportation.

So we say again, it is a wonder that more elderly riders of scooters are not struck after a heavy snow falls…