The importance of scooter safety

Written by
Isabella Williams

Last week, AMP (Access Mobility Professionals) published an article detailing the arrest of a 39-year old man who crashed into a four-year-old girl whilst using an electric mobility scooter one year ago in Dundee.

He was unfit to drive as he was under the influence and was driving without due care and attention. Although the girl wasn’t seriously injured, she was badly bruised and had to receive treatment for her arm. You can read the full article here.

This devastating event underscores why we offer a full safety assessment when you buy a scooter in one of our Middletons stores - to make sure it’s safe for you to use one. Most online mobility companies will allow you to buy a mobility scooter on their website without assessing you. By doing this, scooter riders don’t get the full safety briefs, checks and assessments that we require you to have before taking your scooter home with you.

Our personal approach 

We like to take a more personal approach. When you enter the store, you will be greeted by one of our helpful staff who will help you find whatever you need and answer any questions you might have.

If you’re looking to buy a scooter, you can test drive any of our scooters in the store or on one of our in-store scooter test tracks. This will help you decide which scooter feels best for you.

We will also perform an in-store assessment, deciding whether you’re fit to drive a scooter. Not only is this imperative for your safety but for the safety of others.

We will then run through a safety course with you for free. This is essential because our scooters can travel up to 8mph. On the pavement, this can be quite dangerous, especially if you opt for a more heavy-duty scooter. You will learn how to properly use the scooter safely on the road or pavement.

Although mobility scooters are probably not powerful enough to hurt an adult, as stated in the AMP article, it’s children who will suffer from the misuse of scooters and careless driving.

So, what does the in-store assessment include?

The reason we conduct an in-store assessment is to see whether you’re physically and mentally able to operate a mobility scooter. We only sell to customers who are safe to drive a scooter. It is in everyone's interest and prevents scooter accidents. 

The assessment includes questions such as:

  • What is your height and weight? The reason we need this is that some of our scooters have weight restrictions, and we need to know which scooter will be best suited for you.
  • What will you use your scooter for? Whether this is for travel and cruising, popping to the shops, being able to travel around your local community or excursions and day trips. Whatever it is, this will determine how far you will need the scooter to go for. Will you be planning to go on roads and therefore negotiate dropped curbs, use pedestrian crossings, cross rough terrain or traverse steep hills. These factors will determine which type of scooter is right for you.

We will also ask you a list of questions relating to your physical health and ability. This is to determine whether you are physically able to drive a mobility scooter, including…

  • Are you able to see? And how far?
  • Can you hear? Do you use a hearing aid?
  • Are you left or right-handed? Do you have use of both your hands? 

In order to test these, we will invite you to try out a scooter on our in-store test-tracks and assess whether you can…

  • Use the speed and brake controls.
  • Drive in a straight line.
  • Reverse.
  • Turn left and right on cue.
  • Make a U-Turn.
  • Do a 3-point turn.
  • Navigate a speed bump.
  • Move across gravel or other rough terrains.
  • Use the scooter appropriately.
  • Safely get on and off the scooter.
  • Stand independently from a sitting position.

We also look for any sign of pain when you’re using the scooter, fatigue that might affect your driving and also any communication issues.

We also make sure that you have a place to store and charge your scooter at home.

There you have it; what to expect when you buy a scooter from Middletons. We hope you have safe driving!

Woman testing out her new mobility scooter on a Middletons scooter testing track

To find your nearest store so you can take advantage of things listed above like our Free Safety Assessment and Test Track you can find your nearest store by clicking here.

If you’re interested in browsing any of our scooters click here.

For more information about mobility scooters call us on 0800 999 2831.

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