Road safety for scooters
23 Nov 2016Road safety for scooters
By Tim Barnes-Clay
National Road Safety WeekOpens in new window is coming up soon (21-27 November), and with that in mind we’ve come up with some safety tips for a very important, widely used vehicle — the mobility scooter. Due to their relatively small size and limited speed, users need to be particularly careful on the road, so we hope these tips will make your drive a little easier!
As it gets darker earlier and earlier, you should always aim to make yourself as visible as possible to other road users, much like a motorcyclist would. Sometimes drivers on the road struggle to see even larger vehicles, especially if they are a dark colour. If your scooter is equipped with lights, make sure you leave them on and consider investing in a fluorescent jacket, too.
Stick to routes you know
Many mobility scooter users will stick to routes and roads they know — much like anyone who has a preferred walking or cycling route. This is even more important in the dark winter months, with these conditions making it difficult to navigate unfamiliar routes. With scooters and cars alike, a confident driver who knows where they're going is safer than a lost or distracted driver.
Avoid busy routes
When using a mobility scooter on the road, it's always safer to stick to quieter roads. Car drivers can sometimes get impatient and take risks on the road, potentially putting an exposed mobility scooter user in danger. Remember, if you turn onto a busy road by mistake and there’s a pavement, you can legally drive at up to 4mph on that pavement!
Be aware of busy periods
As the winter festivities close in, it is likely to get very hectic on certain days closer to Christmas and New Year. With people rushing around visiting relatives and buying gifts, there is always the possibility that drivers and pedestrians might be more distracted — so extra care, both on the road and the pavements if you need to head out and buy that last present on Christmas Eve!
Be mindful of weather conditions
Icy roads are bad for everyone, but they are particularly tricky for mobility scooter users. The scooters are not designed with hazardous winter conditions in mind, so if it's snowing or particularly frosty, it is probably best to limit travel to essential journeys. Icy tarmac will provide little grip for your scooter or powered wheelchair. There is also the prospect of localised flooding to contend with, so if there are any areas near you that have suffered from this problem, do keep that in mind.
While winter is a difficult time of the year to stay safe on our roads, sticking to the basics and avoiding potentially challenging sections of road can greatly cut the chances of accidents. As always, it helps to keep an eye on the weather forecast and continually try your best to remain visible to other road users.
It's a good idea to keep emergency numbers to hand, just in case you need assistance while you're out and about.
If you lease your scooter through the Motability Scheme , you will have received a handy, wallet-sized useful numbers card when you picked up your product. If you need assistance, you'll find the contact details for breakdown recovery and insurance assistance to hand, and don't forget to add your dealer's contact number.
The Scooter Highway Code: We've put together an overview of the rules that apply to mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs .
Leasing a scooter through the Motability Scheme gives you added peace of mind. For a start, you receive help from experts at our specialist dealerships. They will provide you with a free suitability assessment and even bring products to your home to try it out. If you do decide to lease a mobility scooter through us, we’ve got you covered with insurance, breakdown assistance, servicing and repairs, including replacement batteries and tyres. Search our range of scooters and find out more about our all-inclusive leasing package.
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