Winter weather creates many orientation and mobility (O&M) challenges for people who are visually impaired. Getting the cane tip stuck is one of the noticeable challenges when traveling in snow, particularly when the walking surface is covered in deep snow. We compared four different cane tips: 1) metal glide, 2) marshmallow roller, 3) roller ball, and 4) bundu bahser. There was a statistically significant difference in frequency of sticking among the different cane tips. Post hoc analyses revealed that the sticking frequency for the metal glide tip was significantly higher than that for the roller ball tip, for the bundu basher tip, and for the marshmallow roller tip. In addition, there was a statistically significant difference in sticking frequency between the marshmallow roller tip and the roller ball tip. Cane tip shape appears to have contributed to differences in sticking frequency. For example, the metal glide tip, being the smallest and more sharply angled among the four cane tips, tended to get stuck on snow more often than more rounded and larger cane tips. Differences in sticking frequency among the cane tips observed in this study appear to be large enough to be practically significant for cane users and practitioners.
WMU ScholarWorks Citation
Kim, Dae Shik; Emerson, Robert Wall; Guth, Dave; and Long, Richard, "14-11 Travel in Adverse Winter Weather Conditions by Blind Pedestrians" (2015). Transportation Research Center Reports. 29.