It might sound funny to some, but the problem of mobility scooter crashes is a serious one and furthermore seems to be one that is on the rise.
There might be any number of reasons for why a scooter owner might crash their scooter, ranging from minor cramps or lapses of concentration to just having been sold a scooter that wasn't suited to their abilities. Whatever the reason for the crash there are a number of steps that all scooter drivers can follow to ensure that they stay clear from as much trouble as possible:
The simple guideline with speed is that the slower the scooter is going, the easier it is to handle. Almost every single activity, from turning a corner to dismounting a pavement is easier and safer if you do it at a lower speed.
It's worth noting as well that a number of scooter owners are technically breaking the law because although regulations are slackly enforced it is illegal to take onto the pavement one of the faster 8mph scooters, which are readily available on the market, without first changing the speed down to 4 miles an hour. Even then the fact that you can legally go 4 miles an hour on the pavement doesn't mean that you have to. Again to quote the regulations on this issue it's important to note that:
"You should give pedestrians priority and show consideration for other pavement users."
I imagine that scooter owners probably find this intensely annoying at times, especially in crowded areas such as shopping arcades where pedestrians rarely leave a space big enough for a scooter to pass but in the end it's better to go slowly and if needed use the horn (beeper) to make your presence known. It will add time to your journey but in the long run it's safer for everyone to take things easily that to risk injuring someone else or even yourself by driving as fast as possible.
If you hit a pedestrian with your scooter you should always stop and check that they are not hurt. The combined weight of you and the scooter can be a huge shock to people that get hit even when it might only feel like a small bump to you. You might think it was their fault, you might even be right but people can, and are, severely hurt by scooter collisions and there's no excuse for just riding away after an incident.
You probably already have lights on your scooter and they are generally fitted with some manner of reflective apparatus to make you more visible to traffic, but no amount of visibility can really be considered too much. To that effect it's probably wise to buy yourself a reflective coat or strap the same as you might find on a road worker or one of the better prepared cyclists. There are scooter specific seat covers that also serve the same purpose if you prefer not to have to carry something with you. Being more visible means that you are less likely to be hit by accident if you are driving at night or just in bad light conditions. It's a small thing but it might just save your life.
Like most people you probably service your car every year if not more often to make sure that everything is still working; it's just good sense. Well the same thing applies to mobility scooters. All scooters have complex parts: brakes, batteries and wiring that need checking over from time to time to make sure that they are still working properly. It might be an expense but in the long run it could actually save you money by prolonging the lifetime of the whole scooter. More importantly though there are some serious safety implications. You want to know that your car's brakes are working before you get in it and you should have the same concerns with a scooter.
It's a smart move to get your scooter looked at once a year to make sure everything is still working and it might even be a requirement of your insurance policy. It's might be old adage remains constantly true that it is better to be safe than sorry.
If you're interested in getting your scooter serviced, you can arrange it with us by giving us a ring on 01386 443857 and arranging a time that's suitable for you. Alternatively if you are looking for some help you can call in and see us any time for specialist advice on how best to use your mobility scooter from one of our trained staff, you can even practice their tips on our in house test track.
Details for how to find us can be found here