If you’re a mobility scooter owner it’s important to be aware of the responsibility to drive the vehicle safely. To ensure that you’re as unlikely as possible to have an accident we’ve put together a mobility scooter driving guide for situations both indoors and out.
Mobility Scooter Driving Advice for When You’re Indoors
If you plan to use your mobility scooter indoors then the most important things to think about are access and other people. The first obstacle of access is whether or not a venue has a ramp or flat entrance for your scooter to travel over.
Larger buildings will be more likely to have this, but smaller independent businesses may also have access. Once inside it’s important to practice safe mobility scooter driving. It may be the case that some buildings have a cramped layout or are very busy, so taking things slow is crucial to avoid an accident. This also gives time for other people to give you extra space as they can see you coming. Of course, if you need to get by a friendly ‘excuse me’ or toot of the horn will get their attention.
One indoor situation that can prove more difficult is the use of public transport. Buses are likely to deny entry to a mobility scooter due to the narrow aisles which would obstruct others. This is understandably frustrating, however, if you have smaller scooter it may be worth asking the driver if they will let you on. For trains you will have a better chance of getting on due to the space by the doors, but double check with the service provider first so you don’t get caught out on your journey.
Mobility Scooter Driving Advice for When You’re Outdoors
Outdoor mobility scooter driving will mostly occur in one of two situations: on the road and in pedestrianised areas. Here’s what to do in each situation:
Driving Your Scooter in Pedestrianised Areas
The mobility scooter driving habits for pedestrianised areas aren’t dissimilar to when driving indoors, albeit with a few more considerations.
The most important one is pedestrians have the right of way. This means that you should only go as fast as you are comfortable with and yield if necessary. If you move in a controlled way it’s not uncommon for pedestrians to give you space anyway, so there’s no need to barge your way though. This is especially true when children or the elderly are nearby as they may not be able to react quickly.
Other important things to consider are the obstacles common in many towns and cities. The first of these is how to approach kerbs: you should do so with a straight approach and at a safe speed. Coming in at an angle could cause the scooter to topple, especially at speed. Also, never descend a high kerb as this can cause instability. Another thing to be aware of is that mobility scooters cannot be driven in cycle lanes, so be sure to only enter them when you need to cross over.
Driving Your Scooter on the Road
We’ve covered mobility scooter driving on the road in more detail in the past here, but a refresher of the key areas is helpful. The most important thing to know about driving a mobility scooter on the road is that it must be a 6-8mph mobility scooter, these are class 3 invalid carriages and are road legal. However, despite being road legal you should still avoid the use of dual carriageways where possible and avoid any over 50mph entirely. Stick to single carriageways as much as possible or use a pavement and stay at a maximum speed of 4mph.
The other crucial area of mobility scooter driving on the road is visibility. A 6-8mph scooter should have rear and front lights ad well as indicators. This will ensure road user can see you, especially as they won’t expect your presence. This means you should also drive with caution by giving way, using pedestrian crossings to go right and being clear with your intentions. If you follow these tips you’ll stay safe both indoors and out on your mobility scooter.