A mobility scooter can be exactly what you need if you find that walking for long distances is painful, tiring or difficult. It affords a new lease of life, facilitating travel that would in the past have been problematic, if perhaps not impossible, and can provide a great deal of independence to those that may otherwise feel rather confined.
Mobility scooters can indeed be highly beneficial, but it is still important for them to be handled safely and carefully to maintain the wellbeing of the user. Now that lockdown restrictions have been eased, and because restaurants, shops, and pubs have now opened their doors, it is the best time to learn all about scooter safety.
1. Find a Suitable Scooter for You
Finding a scooter that meets your needs is the first step that you need to take. Certain modifications can be added to meet your very specific mobility requirements and it is important to take the time to figure out what actually works best for you as opposed to simply choosing the first vehicle that comes along.
It is important to underscore the importance of always dealing with a trusted and reputable seller. Not only will this ensure that the actual vehicle is up to scratch, but it will also mean that you will be able to get add-ons and accessories if they are ever needed, and you can be sure that they will all work effectively. Here is a good place to start.
2. Know Your Scooter Front to Back
It is always a good idea to only ever take the scooter out for a proper test drive after making sure that you have acquainted yourself with all its elements; you obviously don’t want to find a switch or button taking you by surprise when traveling beside a traffic-laden street or a busy pedestrian area. If you know your scooter well, you will not only guarantee your safety, but also the safety of others.
Once you have familiarized yourself with all the features of your scooter, you should then practice, practice and practice some more. The more familiar you are with how the scooter actually operates and handles the better your experience using it will be.
3. Enhance Your Visibility
After getting to the point where you are ready to take the scooter out and about, it is important that you make sure that you are adequately visible so that other road users, cyclists, and pedestrians can all see you regardless of the weather or time of day.
The first thing you should do is invest in a high-visibility jacket and possibly even other high-visibility equipment, such as a bag or perhaps even a belt. Generally speaking, you can get such pieces of kit from reputable scooter suppliers, and even if they might not have them in store, they can still offer useful advice and guidance.
It is definitely worth it to add reflective strips to your scooter if you haven’t already done so, because they ensure that you are visible from a distance even in the dark. Still, it is important to remember that none of these safety features should never hamper the vehicle’s built-in safety features (rear-view mirrors, lights, or even your indicators) in any way.
4. Plan Your Route Beforehand
Planning your mobility scooter route in advance might sound like a lot of admin, but it really does not have to be. Your route will be usually relatively simple and easy to navigate, but it could be that traffic, weather conditions, or roadworks may necessitate a change of direction.
The more aware you are of the route that you will be taking, the more prepared you will be to handle any obstacles. It is also important to ensure that you always have a cellphone with you; being able to contact a family member or friend in case you get into any difficulties, whatever they might be, can be invaluable.
5. Ensure That Any Shopping Is Appropriately Packed and Balanced
If you are going out shopping with your scooter, it is important to be aware of its limitations. If you know the weight your scooter is actually capable of carrying and the ideal place to position items to ensure that it is never unduly unbalanced, you can travel to and from stores without too much of a hassle.
6. Proper Scooter Maintenance
Just as is the case with any other vehicle, you need to make sure that your scooter is properly maintained so that it is always in working order and safe. It is important to have a regular maintenance schedule – every 6 months is reasonable – and then also check-ups on an ad-hoc basis are important if your vehicle ever feels as though it is not operating efficiently.
Finally, you also need to make sure that you keep your scooter as clean as possible and do everything that you can to keep its battery in the most pristine condition. If your scooter’s battery starts feeling as though it is not as powerful as it used to be, you need to get in touch with a professional and they can give you the best advice available.