Travel in Adverse Winter Weather Conditions by Blind Pedestrians

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.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $145,821.00
  • Contract Numbers:


    TRC 14-11

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Department of Transportation

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Dunn, Denise

  • Performing Organizations:

    Transportation Research Center for Livable Communities

    Western Michigan University
    Kalamazoo, MI  United States  49009-5316

    Western Michigan University

    1903 W. Michigan Avenue
    Kalamazoo, MI  United States  49008-5241
  • Principal Investigators:

    Kim, Dae

    Emerson, Robert

    Guth, David

    Long, Richard

  • Start Date: 20140701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20150831
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers
  • Subprogram: Research
  • Source Data: RiP Project 36942

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01532761
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Center for Livable Communities
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC60, TRC 14-11
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 6 2014 1:00AM