Safety on Scooters
This article was first published in Waitakere Health Link and written by Independent Living's Julie Garlick.
With Summer almost upon us, exploring the great outdoors becomes very appealing! If you are no longer able to drive or have difficulty walking longer distances, a mobility scooter may be an essential piece of equipment.
Anyone can use a mobility scooter. You don’t need a driver’s license and they’re not required to have a warrant of fitness or registration. You can just jump on and head out! But mobility scooters don’t offer the same physical protection as cars, which got me wondering how mobility scooter riders can keep safe on the roads. Here are 9 top safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable excursion.
- Familiarise yourself with the scooter. Understand the features and safety guidelines for your mobility scooter and practice operating the scooter in a safe environment before venturing into public areas.
- Be visible with proper lighting, reflectors, a flag or a horn. Consider wearing a Hi-Viz jacket to make yourself more visible to others, especially in low-light conditions.
- Follow the traffic rules; stay in designated areas, use pedestrian crossings when available, and obey traffic signals and signs. Avoid riding on busy roads or highways whenever possible.
- Be mindful of pedestrians. Always give way to pedestrians, maintain a safe speed and be cautious when manoeuvring around them.
- Be aware of your surroundings and remain alert to potential hazards. Look out for obstacles, uneven surfaces, potholes, or any other potential dangers that may cause you to lose balance or control.
- Don't use mobile devices such as phones or do things that will divert your attention from the road.
- Stay within the weight capacity of your particular scooter. You do not want to jeopardise the stability and safe operation of your mobility scooter.
- Regularly check and maintain the battery of your scooter to ensure it has sufficient charge. Sudden loss of power can be dangerous, particularly if you are in traffic or navigating challenging terrain.
- Maintain your mobility scooter by following the recommended maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer. This includes checking the tyres, brakes, and other mechanical components regularly to ensure they are in proper working condition.
By following these guidelines and exercising caution, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable experience while using your scooter. If you have a powerchair, mobility scooter, wheelchair or other mobility product needing repair or servicing, contact Dave at Independent Living's Service Department to ensure you are ready for the road.