Staying Safe on Your Mobility Scooter: The Basic Safety Rules

elderly man riding mobility scooterMobility scooters are a great way for the elderly or people with reduced dexterity to get around on their own. They give you a shot at independent life without the tough conditioning manual wheelchair users have to go through to become independent.

However, since these scooters are in small essence vehicles, they have to be handled well to avoid accidents.

1. Get the right safety accessories.

Additional mobility scooter accessories that make your scooter easier and safer to use will reduce greatly reduce accidents. Go for reflective strips and flags that make your scooter more visible and an audible warning bell or horn to alert people that you are on the way. These simple additions will reduce chances of collisions since other road or pavement users will know of your presence better.

2. Know how to work all the controls.

Knowing your scooter controls inside out will make controlling it your second nature. You will rarely make mistakes and will react to unexpected circumstances on a dime if you know what to touch to brake or change direction. Your skill and alertness on the controls is akin to the reflexes and care a great driver takes when on the road to avoid costly mistakes.

3. Don’t push your mobility scooter too far.

Overloading or driving the scooter too fast can be catastrophic. Your mobility scooter has a predetermined load beyond which it becomes unstable and susceptible to tipping over. Overloading also increases stopping distances and puts unnecessary strain on the motor.

elderly woman moving about in mobility scooter

You should also choose your speed depending on your scooter’s ability, the terrain, and traffic. Going too fast on the pavement will increase the chances of knocking down pedestrians before you can apply the brakes or change direction.

4. Know the rules well.

In most regions, there are rules governing where you can or cannot use your mobility scooter. For instance, mobility scooters that aren’t class three vehicles and above cannot be driven on the road.

Another common rule is the fact that pedestrians always have the right of way when you are driving over the pavements. Knowing these rules and sticking by them will make the roads and pavements a safer place, both to you and to other users.

5. Keep the scooter well serviced.

The last trick on the list is the most important — regular maintenance to keep the scooter road or pavement-worthy. A faulty scooter with failing brakes, faulty wheels, suspension or a discharged battery is a danger to anyone near it.

Follow the recommended maintenance schedule and have an expert look into your scooter every now and then to ensure that it is working optimally. You should also take it in for servicing as soon as you notice that something is amiss.

Mobility scooters are a great convenience if used well. It is your responsibility to ensure that your scooter is safe for you and that it will not fail you when you least expect it. This coupled with observing the above safety tips will give you the independence you so much year in a safe and sustainable manner.

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