Mobility scooters offer a great way to get around for those who struggle to walk because of age or other mobility impairment. Those with limited mobility often rely on their devices daily. That’s why it’s so important to understand these mobility scooter safety tips.
If you or a loved one have purchased a scooter, you must make sure it’s operated safely and responsibly. Scooter accidents are rare, but when they happen they can cause serious injury and even death, to the scooter user or the people around them.
Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to make using your scooter a safe and enjoyable way to get mobile. Below are a few of our top mobility scooter safety tips to remember:
It is highly recommended to install a safety flag, reflective strips and/or lights on your scooter. This is especially important if you regularly need to cross roads, move between parked cars or travel at night.
Take Care Crossing Driveways
Remember that on your scooter, you’re at a height disadvantage compared to other pedestrians. So, drivers may not see you easily. Safety equipment like lights and flags help, but it’s still important to pay close attention to what is going on around you.
Stick to Footpaths
Don’t drive on the road unless there is no other option. Be sure to watch for vehicles entering or exiting driveways and for people coming out of shopfronts.
Keep All Your Wheels on the Ground
Whether you are using a three or four-wheel model, scooters can be tipped over if used incorrectly. This can cause serious injury or worse. To prevent this from happening, keep all of your wheels on the ground at all times. To do this, always approach hills, bumps and curbs head-on, not at an angle. It is also important to make turns slowly and never turn with your steering on full lock. Especially in three-wheeled models.
Don’t Carry Too Many Parcels
Loading yourself down with too many heavy items puts added stress on your scooter motor. It can also unbalance your scooter, potentially making it tip over. When purchasing your scooter, consider any shopping, bags or other equipment you may add to your scooter. When you choose your scooter, ask your supplier to install baskets, bags or racks so you can store your items safely.
We also recommend asking your supplier about regular servicing, to ensure your scooter is well looked after. We have some easy maintenance tips here. Then read our answer to “Are mobility scooters safe?”
Don’t Speed Through Crowds
In Australia, scooters are speed-limited to 10 km per hour, but sometimes people walk much slower than that. To avoid accidents, be sure to match your speed to the people around you. This is especially the case when indoors or in crowded areas. You can also read about road rules for mobility scooters here.
To find out more about how to safely use your mobility scooter in your state, why not download our FREE User’s Guide to Mobility Scooters.