If you own a mobility scooter, then you need to know that it is your responsibility to drive it safely. If you want to avoid having an accident, then learn more in the following guide because it is going to help you whether you are indoors or outdoors.
Advice When You are Indoors
If your mobility scooter is used indoors, you need to know the most important thing is access and other people.
The first challenge is if a venue has a ramp or flat entrance to make it easy for you and your scooter to travel over. This is more common in larger buildings, but there are some smaller independent businesses that have provided access.
When you get in, you need to practice safe mobility while driving your scooter. It is possible to find buildings being very busy or having a cramped layout. Make sure you always do it slowly because it is going to help you avoid any accidents. Doing things slowly is good because it means you can be given extra space because people see you coming. If you are looking to get by, a friendly toot of the horn or ‘excuse me’ is going to get people’s attention and they can give you space.
One indoor situation that can be a little challenging is using public transport. Most buses deny people entry when they are on a mobility scooter because the aisles and narrow and can obstruct others. This can be frustrating but it is understandable. If your scooter is smaller, it is worth asking the driver whether you can enter. There is a better chance of getting on if it is a train because there is more space by the doors. It is a good idea to check first with the service provider so you don’t get caught out.
Advice When You are Outdoors
There are two situations where outdoor mobility scooter driving is in pedestrian areas and on the road. Below is what to do in each of the situations.
Driving in Pedestrian Areas
The driving habits when driving a mobility scooter in pedestrianized areas are the same as that driving indoors, but there are more considerations to factor in. Having the right of way is the most important consideration. You should go with a speed that you feel comfortable with and yield way when need be. Other pedestrians are most likely going to give you space when you move in a controlled way, which means you don’t have to barge through. This is common when there are children and the elderly nearby since they don’t react fast.
You need to also consider obstacles that are common in most cities and towns. The first is approaching a kerb: make sure you do it with a straight approach and keeping a safe speed. Don’t come in at an angle because the scooter can easily topple. Especially when driving it at speed. Don’t descend a high kerb because it leads to instability. You need to remember that you cannot drive a mobility scooter in cycle lanes. You can only use them when crossing over. Make sure you keep this in mind any time you are on a cycle lane so you don’t put yourself in any danger.
Driving on the Road
When it comes to driving a mobility scooter on the road, the most important thing to keep in mind is you need to have one that travels 6-8 mph. These are road legal because they are class 3 invalid carriages. Even though they are road legal, you need to avoid using them on dual carriageways. You have to avoid 50mph roads entirely. Try your best to stick with single carriageways or pavements. You should be staying at a maximum speed of 4mph.
Visibility is very important when driving a mobility scooter on the road. A 6-8mph scooter needs to have both front and rear lights and indicators. This ensures that you can be easily seen by other road users because they won’t expect your presence. Always drive with caution and give way. Use pedestrian crossings and be clear always with your intentions.