Staying Safe On Your Mobility Scooter
Are you about to get a mobility scooter? Or perhaps you’ve had one for a while, but want to brush up on your safety knowledge?
Mobility scooters, whether you drive yours on the pavement or on the road, can be a hazard to yourself, cars, and pedestrians. Knowing how to keep you and the other people around you safe is therefore essential, as is knowing how to keep your scooter in top condition.
Below, we’ve covered the essential mobility scooter safety tips you need to know.
Mobility scooters can only be used by people with mobility issues, but these are machines that not everyone will be able to operate. Before getting your mobility scooter, we’d recommend:
- Visiting your doctor to ensure you’re fit enough to use the scooter
- Ask if any adaptations can be made to the scooter if you have a disability that may restrict your ability to use it
- Have your eyesight tested and ensure you wear glasses or contact lenses when driving if you need them
Basic Tips & Information
Thankfully, driving a mobility scooter is relatively easy to master – but it always pays to be cautious in order to ensure the safety of you and the people around you!
When you first get a mobility scooter, here are a few basic tips to make sure you get the best scooter for you and stay safe while driving it.
- Make sure you get a scooter suitable for your height and weight, as well as any mobility restrictions you may have. This will ensure you can stay in control of the vehicle at all times, and guarantee it is comfortable for you to drive.
- Before driving your scooter for the first time, familiarise yourself with the controls, including how to turn it on and off, how to accelerate and brake, indicators, lights, and any other controls your scooter may have.
- Ask your retailer for information on how often you need to charge your mobility scooter battery (usually, you will need to charge it overnight and after each use, but it is worth checking).
- Make sure you have a space allocated in which you can store your mobility scooter safely overnight, as well as a charging port nearby to keep the battery topped up.
- Read the instructions on how to maintain your mobility scooter thoroughly, and make sure you follow the advice to keep your mobility scooter in top condition.
Mobility scooter insurance isn’t a legal requirement – but it is highly recommended by the Department for Transport.
This is because accidents can happen, and an insurance policy will protect you, the people around you, and your mobility scooter should something happen.
Surewise.com Mobility Scooter Insurance
We know first-hand just how important a mobility scooter can be in allowing our customers to keep their independence, so we’ve designed a mobility scooter insurance policy to allow you to live life confidently when out and about on your scooter.
- Third party liability up to £2m
- Accidental damage up to £2m
- 24/7 recovery assistance
- Personal accident up to £3,000
- Legal expenses up to £100,000
- Loss or damage due to vandalism, fire, flood, and theft
Types of Mobility Scooter
Class 1: Manual Wheelchair
Class 1 wheelchairs are manual wheelchairs i.e. they are not electrically powered. These are either pushed by another person, or you use your arms to move it.
Class 2: Mobility Scooter
Class 2 mobility scooters are not suitable for use on the road, other than if there is no pavement available. However, this does mean that this type of scooter is more lightweight, and can often come in a foldable design to be easily stowed on public transport or in the boot of a car.
Types of class 2 mobility scooters include:
- Powered Wheelchairs
- Folding scooters (typically weighing around 25kg)
- Mid-weight scooters (typically around 50kg, with more power than a folding scooter)
Class 3 Mobility Scooter
Class 3 mobility scooters are suitable for use on the road, and as such, they need to meet certain criteria. You will also need to register your mobility scooter if it is a class 3 model.
This type of mobility scooter is more powerful and has a longer range than class 2 types, and will also include features such as:
- Front and rear lights and indicators
- An audible horn
- A rear view mirror
- A maximum unladen weight of 150kg
Mobility Scooters & the law
Depending on what class of mobility scooter you have, there are certain laws you need to adhere to in order to keep yourself and those around you safe.
Check out our full guide to mobility scooters and the law to find out more.
On the road
Once you’ve got your mobility scooter and know how to use it, the next safety concerns you need to consider are how to handle your scooter once you’re ready to get on the road.
1. Planning Your Journey
To avoid getting into any difficulty, it’s a good idea to plan your journey – especially if you haven’t done it before or if you’re in a new area.
Remember, the shortest route is not always the best route – it’s best to find a route that has even surfaces that make it easy for you to drive.
When planning your journey, consider things such as:
- Steep hills
- Dropped or high kerbs
Even if you are happy to tackle these obstacles, preparing yourself beforehand and mapping out your journey can save a lot of stress and help you keep control of your scooter as you drive.
2. On the Road
There are a number of things you can do to keep yourself and other people safe when you are on the road (or on the pavement) on your mobility scooter.
- Ensure you’re dressed comfortably with no loose garments that could get caught
- Putting your lights on if needed
- Using your indicators
- Avoid using your mobile phone on your scooter
- Avoid driving your scooter if you are on medication that makes you drowsy
- Get into the habit of being aware of pedestrians around you
- Take care when going around corners or when you can’t see ahead of you
- Park your mobility scooter only in places where it will not be an obstruction
Visit our mobility scooter insurance page to find out more about our affordable policies and to get a quote.