Staying safe on your Mobility Scooter
Mobility scooters are a great way of retaining freedom and your independence to travel as and when you want to see family and friends, or simply pop to the shop for a pint of milk when you’ve run out.
Whether you’re an existing scooter owner, or considering buying your first, understanding Mobility Scooter Safety is crucial to keeping yourself and others around you safe.
Here are a few tips on mobility scooter safety to keep yourself and others safe whilst out and about:
- Get a scooter that is appropriate for your needs. Seek out professional advice for help. RB Mobility provide a free assessment and home demonstration service to make sure your new scooter is appropriate, comfortable and suitable for your needs.
- Get to know your scooter. Make sure you know how to operate your scooter safely. Before taking it out on its first journey find out where all the switches and levers are, and that you understand how to use it properly. For every new scooter we deliver we provide free set up and training to make sure you are happy and confident in operating it safely.
- Keep your scooter properly maintained. A fault or failure could leave you stranded on a journey, or worse still, involved in an accident. A regular mobility scooter service will keep your vehicle in good working order and deal with any hidden faults before they become a real problem.
- Keep your battery fully charged and be aware of how far you can travel before it needs recharging, to avoid becoming stranded. For further information on looking after your battery see our advice on charging and maintaining mobility vehicle batteries.
- Be aware that the distance you can travel on a fully charged battery will vary depending on a number of factors. Poor battery condition, carrying heavy loads, going up hill, along rough services or travelling in cold weather will reduce the distance you can travel. Remember to plan your journey accordingly.
- Do not be tempted to tackle obstacles on your journey that may cause you or others harm. Plan your journey in advance to avoid things like steep hills, high kerbs or rough terrain.
- Before setting out check to see if there are any factors like local events, road works, rubbish collection days, school drop off and pick up times, which may affect your route. Remember that peak traffic times might lead to things like vehicles parked on footpaths obstructing your route.
- Be aware of other road users and pedestrians. In particular watch out for children, the elderly and disabled people on foot who may not always see or hear you approaching.
- Drive with care and consideration at all times and leave enough space to slow or manoeuvre to avoid accidents.
- Remember pedestrians have the right of way. Scooter users should give way to pedestrians and go no faster than 4 mph when using pavements.
- Pavements are safer than roads and should be used when available.
- Take care when moving from the pavement to the road. Always look around to make sure it’s safe to join the traffic.
- Be careful when going up and down kerbs, always approach at right angles, don’t go up anything higher than is recommended for your wheels and where possible cross roads at a dropped kerb.
- Be particularly aware of who is around you in crowded areas such as shopping precincts so as not to run into anyone or cause damage with your scooter.
- Do not operate your scooter if you have been drinking alcohol.
- Be careful if using your scooter whilst on medication. Always check the information to see if it may cause drowsiness. If so, do not use your scooter.
- Be visible to other road users and pedestrians. Wear a fluorescent jacket and put reflective markings on your scooter. Use your lights.
- Make sure you can see properly whilst using your scooter, particularly when wearing layers of clothing in bad weather.
- Fasten any loose clothing (scarves, belts, jackets) to avoid it getting caught in the wheels or covering lights and reflectors.
- Do not carry other people on your scooter.
- Do not carry or walk (even a well-behaved) pet whilst on your scooter.
- Do not overload your scooter and only carry things in appropriate carriers such as baskets and ensure it’s secure to avoid it falling off your scooter.
- Keep shopping bags and handbags closed and secure and within sight.
- Drive with extra caution where you can’t see clearly ahead. For example, when approaching a corner, or when your view is obstructed by a hedge or parked vehicle.
- Take corners slowly and with care to avoid your scooter toppling, particularly if the ground is on a slope, there is loose gravel, a slippery surface or you’re going downhill.
- Always allow plenty of braking time.