A mobility scooter has been designed to give you independence and freedom – but it is important to remember mobility scooter safety when out on your travels.
Don’t let anything hold you back when it comes to getting out and about on your own, however, make sure you are following the best safety practices and always use your mobility scooter’s safety features.
Mobility Scooter Road Safety Best Practices
Be Safe & Be Seen
One of the most important things is to make sure people can see you and you can see them. Even if you have a brightly coloured vehicle, this might not make a difference when you’re travelling at night-time or when other people are distracted or on the move.
Make sure to wear high visibility, reflective clothing every time you make a journey. Also, accessorise your mobility scooter with fluorescent markings and strips. No matter what you add or wear, always guarantee nothing is obstructing your vision and you can see everything around you.
Put Your Lights On
Your lights are essential for mobility scooter safety. During the day, during the evening, during miserable weather, your headlights should always be on so visibility is improved and people can see you.
Always use your indicators so people know what direction you are heading in and always use your hazards if you cannot move for any reason; don’t drive with them on unnecessarily. Mobility scooter safety lights are essential for keeping you safe on your journey, so use your common sense and make sure people know where you are going.
Keep Your Battery Charged
Regardless of journey length and time, it’s always good practice to charge your mobility scooter battery before every trip. This way, you can guarantee your vehicle is always ready to go and there is minimal risk of the battery running out.
Not only is this a good habit to have, but it’s also useful to know how far a full charge takes you. Of course, your battery life depends on other factors such as the condition of the battery, the weight you will be carrying, and the kind of route you take. But, after a few journeys, you will be able to gain an idea of what to expect from your battery.
Extra Battery Charging Advice
- Regularly charge your batteries. To keep your batteries in good working order, charge them overnight. Once per week is fine, particularly when you are not using your scooter for long period of time, like in the winter. Batteries don’t like cold temperatures and, without a regular charge, they lose their ability to provide the maximum range they were designed to.
- Don’t overcharge your batteries. Overcharging is a common cause of shortened lifespans and it is one of the most common causes of battery faults that we see in our workshop. After around 8 hours (overnight) of charging, batteries will reach their maximum capacity. Once you have completed a charge cycle, simply turn off the charger and disconnect it from your scooters/batteries. To help get into a routine, connect and disconnect your charger at the same time on the day you decide to charge.
- Use the correct charger. Different mobility scooters and batteries sizes work with different chargers. It’s important to always use the charger that came with your mobility scooter at point of purchase. Even if you think the batteries are charging with a different charger, it is likely you are damaging the batteries in the process.
Conduct Regular Maintenance
Mobility scooter road safety doesn’t just come down to the way you use your vehicle, it’s also dependent on the way you look after your vehicle. Mobility scooters should be maintained and serviced at least every year, but you should also do your own checks before heading out.
Some of the things you should check include tyre pressure; they should be kept at the recommended pressure in order to be as safe as possible. Lights should also be checked regularly and replaced when they are no longer working. If you would like to know more about vehicle maintenance, there is likely a mobility scooter safety course online or near you – or ask your scooter supplier!
Pedestrians’ Right of Way
Pedestrians always have a right of way when you are riding on the pavement, so make sure you are aware of your surroundings at all times. Give way to them when you are on a footpath and, even though your vehicle may move faster than them, don’t honk your horn at them to overtake, always be polite.
In crowded spaces, spatial awareness is important for mobility scooter safety. Take it slow, resist any road rage, and not only make sure you’re aware what’s around you, but make sure that pedestrians are aware of you too by saying ‘excuse me’ or letting them know you’re there.
Other Mobility Scooter Road Safety Tips
- Never overload your scooter with shopping or other goods
- Make sure you use a basket or other suitable carriers for shopping rather than your footwell
- Keep your personal belongings where you can see then so you can ensure they are secure
- Avoid loose fitting clothes that could get caught and don’t hang anything off your handlebars
- Don’t carry another person or your pet with you on the scooter and don’t walk your pet either
Some of this mobility scooter safety advice is common sense but it’s important to be aware and remember these things, so you and others around you feel as safe as possible.