How can I safely use my mobility scooter?

Although you might not realise it, mobility scooters can pose hazards both for the user and for other people, so it is advisable to be aware of the safety issues and travel around safely on your scooter.

Using the road or the pavement

Mobility scooters come in different categories; Class 2 and Class 3. Class 2 scooters have their speed restricted to 4 miles per hour whilst Class 3 vehicles can travel at up to 8 miles per hour. Class 2 scooters should be driven on the pavement except when you need to cross a road, but Class 3 scooters can be driven on the road. However, the Highway Code (AUTHORITY URL: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/rules-for-users-of-powered-wheelchairs-and-mobility-scooters-36-to-46) states that you should use the pavement when possible and give priority to pedestrians. Any scooter travelling on the footpath should have its speed restricted to 4mph. If you do need to travel on the road you should always go in the direction of the traffic and you have the same duty to use lights at night as other road users.

Your general ability

In order to use your mobility scooter safely, you need to be fit enough to carry out the necessary manoeuvres such as negotiating kerbs or reversing the vehicle. You need to know the manufacturer’s recommendations for the height of kerbs that can be tackled with your scooter and always approach them at right angles to avoid tipping. Your eyesight is also important as you have to avoid other users of the footpath and need to be able to see that the way is clear before turning at road junctions or crossing busy roads.

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Maintaining your mobility scooter

There are certain checks that should be carried out before travelling. The tyres should be regularly inspected and kept at the correct pressure and lights should be in working order. Avoid overloading your scooter as this can make it unstable, and always make sure your mobility batteries are adequately charged. The maximum range may be less than you expect if you are going up and down hills, travelling in cold weather or your batteries are getting older.

Replacement batteries can be obtained from companies such as http://grovesbatteries.co.uk/Mobility.aspx if you are concerned about the life left in yours.

If you use common sense and treat others with respect, you should be able to use your mobility scooter safely.

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