For those living with a disability or restricted mobility, having a mobility scooter allows you to move around independently and remain active in your community. If you’re new to driving a scooter, however, learning the rules of the road as you get used to handling your new means of transport can seem a little daunting.
Follow our simple tips to staying safe on your mobility scooter when you’re out and about.
Firstly, when you’re making a decision about which scooter to go for, it’s vital that you consider your day to day requirements and how the scooter will factor into this. The best way to experience a comprehensive range is to test drive a few models that fit this criteria. Fortunately, Monarch Mobility offer free at home demonstrations making it convenient to trial scooters and determine the best option for your lifestyle.
Once you’ve selected the right mobility scooter to suit your needs, no doubt you’ll want to make the most of this new found freedom and take it for a spin as soon as possible. Before heading out on the open road, however, you should familiarise yourself with the Government’s rules for mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs in the UK. This covers what you need to know when operating a scooter on roads and footpaths, as well as information about vehicle tax and registration. Its essential reading for new drivers and understanding the regulations can help you stay safe around others when out in public on your scooter.
Now that you know the hard and fast rules and feel confident operating your scooter in public places, here’s a list of reminders that you should consider to stay safe on your mobility scooter.
Tips for staying safe on your mobility scooter
- Make sure your scooter is in good working order. Before you head out, take a moment to check that the battery is charged enough to last your planned journey and that tyres are inflated and brakes are working correctly.
- Check that it has all the safety measures in place so that other users on the road and people on footpaths can see you in different conditions. You should check that you have adequate reflectors and working lights as well as mirrors positioned correctly to see those coming behind you if you intend to drive a road legal scooter.
- Keep yourself safe by always carrying a mobile phone should you need to contact anyone in an emergency. Likewise, it’s wise to always carry identification
- Plan your route before beginning your journey. Overtime you’ll come to learn the safest possible route for many of the familiar places you visit regularly but when you’re new to driving a mobility scooter it’s a good idea to learn about possible obstacles or dangerous spots on your route. You should also check that your route is suitable for a motorised vehicle and where possible select routes on quieter streets to avoid road and foot traffic.
- Be aware of other traffic on the road. When you’re descending from the kerb to cross over the road for example, take extra care and check for cars crossing the pavement as they come out of their driveway. You should only crossover at pedestrian crossings, making sure that traffic has come to a complete halt first.
- Watch out for pedestrians on footpaths and pavements. Likewise, you should be aware of other people using the same pavements as you and be ready to stop for pedestrians crossing your path. Remember, when using your scooter on a pavement, you must use the low speed or 4mph setting.
Image Credit: Lei Hermans (wikimedia.org)