Here are some safety tips to consider and employ when operating a mobility scooter.
- Maintain your tires: Air filled tires can rupture if driven over a nail, tack or piece of broken glass. As such, rough or dirty surfaces should be avoided when driving a mobility scooter. Air pressure is also important to the tire’s well-being and longevity. An over or under inflated tire can wear out prematurely or puncture. Incorrect inflation also has a negative effect on battery life. Note that not all scooters use air
- Never drive while impaired: Drivers of mobility scooters should never drive their vehicle if they have consumed alcohol or are impaired by the use of drugs. Be warned that police can prosecute people who are found to be impaired while driving their mobility scooter.
- Pedestrians have the right of way: If you are riding your scooter in a crowded area, please give the right of way to pedestrians. It is important to be courteous to those around you, especially those who are walking at a slower pace. Use your scooter's horn when necessary to alert people of your presence.
- Always ride solo: Unless your scooter is designed to carry more than one passenger, you must always drive solo when operating it. The added weight will cause damage to the scooter’s frame and its tires (not to mention decreasing the life of your battery). Furthermore, it is illegal in most states to drive a mobility scooter when accompanied by a passenger.
- Manoeuvre curbs and ramps in a safe manner: When approaching a curb, driveway or ramp, always drive onto it in a straight, "head on" position. Always drive on the most level or flattest area of the surface. If you drive sideways on a curb or rampway, the scooter may tip over causing an accident.
- Get to know your surroundings: Get acclimated with the safest and most accessible routes in the area if you intend to use your mobility scooter there. Be aware of curbs or building entrances that are not accessible. Allow yourself additional time to locate accessible areas as you may be required to take an alternative route or go through a different entrance.
- Be visible: Be aware that when driving a mobility scooter you are at a height disadvantage to those walking alongside you. To ensure proper visibility it is recommended that you wear bright colors or reflective clothing, put reflective stripes on your scooter and use your scooter's lights when travelling at night or dusk. Many scooter drivers place a fluorescent orange bike flag on the rear or on the seat back of
- Be prepared for emergency situations: In case of a scooter breakdown or malfunction, it is advised that drivers carry a cell phone with them or enough money to make a call from a pay phone. It is also recommended that emergency phone numbers be taped to the scooter in case the driver becomes incapacitated and requires immediate assistance.
- Always transport your scooter safely: Ensure that your scooter is firmly secured when you are transporting it from one location to another. If it needs to be moved by a van, make sure that vehicle is properly equipped to transport a mobility vehicle.
If you follow these useful tips, your scooter travels should be both safe and productive. There's a lot of our world to see on a mobility scooter - so travel in style and comfort and keep safe out there!