Mobility scooter safety tips
Mobility scooters are there to help you keep your independence and freedom. They give you the ability to visit places like shopping centres and parks when you wish. Nowadays, there is a great variety of scooters to choose from. Whichever model you choose, it is important that you’re using it safely.
Mobility scooters are generally designed to be comfortable and easy to drive. Just like a car or bike, there are still some standard safety precautions you should follow when you’re using one. We’ve created this short guide to share our top tips on mobility scooter safety.
Keeping safe on your mobility scooter
The first thing to consider is whether you’re choosing a scooter that is right for you. You should look for a motor that is suited to your needs, including your height and weight.
You can also consider things such as your posture and seating position. This will affect whether you’re able to control the scooter comfortably.
We advise practising somewhere you feel safe before venturing out onto any main roads or busy areas. You’ll only need to do some standard training to cover:
-Being able to steer
-Turn around corners
-Drive up and down slopes and kerbs
-Come to a stop
When to take extra care on your scooter
You should take extra care and adjust your speed when driving over tougher terrain (i.e. gravel and grass), as well as when the weather conditions worsen. Also, slow down when going down hills or driving over kerbs. When possible, try to use a dropped kerb to avoid damaging your tyres or causing your scooter to jolt. We always advise using pedestrian crossings when they’re available.
Be more cautious when you’re driving somewhere, and you cannot see straight ahead of you. For example, it’s best to slow down if you’re approaching a corner, sharp bend or if anything or anyone is restricting your view.
Never drive your scooter if you’ve consumed alcohol or are taking medication that might affect your vision, concentration or balance. Your doctor will be able to confirm when you can drive safely on your scooter while taking a specific (non-drowsy) medication. A doctor will also be able to advise on any physical injuries that could interfere with your driving.
Always give way to pedestrians when you can
You should always be aware of pedestrians or other road users. The maximum speed on the pavement when driving a scooter is 4mph. However, there is usually no need to go this fast, especially when there are a lot of other people around.
Take extra care in crowded areas like shopping centres, busy parks or outside schools where small children could be passing by.
Get insured on your scooter
When hiring a scooter on a long-term basis, it’s best to get insurance. This is to cover any repairs, maintenance costs and damage. Our policies include all maintenance and repairs, as well as 24-hour breakdown recovery. Although this is very rare, if your scooter was to break down entirely, it would be our responsibility to get you and your scooter home safely and quickly.
Having reliable insurance will give you the confidence to venture out without worrying about getting stuck or having to pay for any unexpected repairs.
Take extra care in the winter
When the outside temperature drops, the pavement can become icy and slippery. This means it’s best to drive slower throughout the winter. It will also become darker, so be aware of this when heading out for a long day at the park or a trip into town.
If you have lights or indicators, make sure these are all intact, and if you want to be extra careful, you could make use of high visibility clothing or accessories. This could be a reflective bag, jacket, badge or anything that makes you stand out.
The cold weather can drain your battery slightly faster - which means your range may be less. Keep this in mind if you’re planning a long journey and make sure your scooter is fully charged before heading out.
Keeping your scooter in good condition
There are a few things that you, or a carer, can look out for to confirm whether your mobility scooter is in good condition. For example, the tyres should be kept at the right pressure depending on the make of your scooter. If they begin to wear out, you may need a replacement. If you’re hiring a scooter with us - one of our friendly engineers will be able to take care of this for you.
Another thing to look out for is fault lights and indications - if your scooter has them. You’ll use your lights when driving on the road, or whenever it’s gloomy or dark outside. So, if the bulbs are dead or have become dimmer, you may need to get them replaced before they fade out.
Try not to overload your scooter too much - i.e. with heavy shopping bags. This could weigh it down and make it harder to steer. Scooters will generally provide the right amount of space for your shopping - so this is unlikely to be a problem.
Avoid hanging any extra bags on your handlebars - this can cause the scooter to become unstable or harder to control. Your scooter should come with a basket instead.
Get in touch
All mobility scooters are designed to keep you safe and comfortable. If you’re hiring with us and have any questions, you can ask one of our engineers to give you a run-through of everything you’ll need to know.