7 ways to protect yourself against mobility scooter accidents

Written by
Isabella Williams

Road Safety Week falls on the 21st-27th of November, so we’ve put together some ways to help you stay safe on a mobility scooter. Using a mobility scooter on the pavement or road is serious. Accidents related to mobility scooters are often in the news, calling for banning scooters on roads and warning about the dangers of them.

The official data from the Department of Transport states that the total number of mobility scooter-related accidents reported between 2013-2018, whether that’s slight, serious or even fatal, has increased by 59.6%. That’s 156 in 2013 and 249 in 2018.

These accidents could happen due to a multitude of reasons or have been caused by any number of parties. However, this shouldn’t stop you using one, especially if that mobility scooter is the only thing helping you get out and about to do your business and keep you mobile. This is why it’s so important to make sure you know the rules and protect yourself if you plan to use a mobility scooter on the pavement or road. We’ve put together a list of things we do and you can do to help keep you safe on the road.

How to ensure your safety on a mobility scooter

Women at Middletons testing a mobility scooter on the test track

1. Our in-store safety assessment

When you come into our stores looking for a mobility scooter we will make sure that you are mentally and physically able to drive one. We will do this by carrying out a series of tests on a scooter in the store.

For example, we’ll ask you to accelerate, brake, turn in a circle and other manoeuvres to ensure you’re able to drive the scooter safely. It is our policy that if you’re unable to drive a mobility scooter we will not sell you one. This policy aims to make the roads safer for everyone. Read more about our in-store safety assessment here.

2. Finding the right scooter for you

Also, having the wrong scooter is dangerous if you took it on the road or pavement when it’s not built for that. We have a scooter for everyone and every purpose. There are heavy-duty scooters that are built for going long distances on the roads, folding and boot scooters for easy transportation and specific scooters for travelling on pavements, round the shops and in pedestrian areas. We need to know what you wish to use your scooter for before we suggest a scooter for you.

We also find the right scooter for your height and weight so that you feel safe while driving it. We will take you through a consultation process to make sure we know we’re giving you exactly what you need, so you can be safe. Whatever you need and whatever you intend to use it for we have the scooter for you.

3. Safety training

While you’re in the store we will train you on how to use your new mobility scooter safety and make you aware of the rules of the road so that you and others will be safe using the public highway. Read about all of the laws and regulations of the road for mobility scooters here.

4. Insurance for your mobility scooter

No matter how much safety training we give you, accidents do happen. This is why we will always recommend that you purchase mobility scooter insurance with your mobility scooter. This means that if you follow all the rules and safety regulations and you still get hurt, you will be compensated. Read all about our insurance policies here.

5. Wear safety equipment

Just like riding a bicycle or a horse wearing safety equipment is essential. If you are intending to go on the road with your mobility scooter, wearing a helmet or padding could save your life if an accident should occur. Not wearing safety equipment is not illegal but we highly recommend it for your own safety.

6. Follow the speed limit

Mobility scooters are a substitute for walking, not running! The average walking pace of a human is 3-4mph, so when you are on the pavement or in a pedestrian area, do not exceed the speed limit of 4mph. However, on the road with a class 3 mobility scooter, you are allowed to travel up to 8mph which is the maximum speed limit. Read about the speed limit regulations for mobility scooters here.

7. Make sure your mobility scooter is working

Remember to service your mobility scooter. Check it is fully charged before you take it out. Make sure the lights and horn are working. Most of our tyres are solid rubber so won’t get punctures but it is always good to check them too.

If you’re buying a mobility scooter online you just don’t get this sort of service, no advice about which scooter is best, no safety training and you will have to buy your insurance separately. This is why we recommend that you come into a store and try out our mobility scooters before you buy them. Find your nearest store here...

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