It is essential that mobility scooter riders are able to use the product safely in order to avoid injury or death.
Mobility scooters have three or four wheels attached to a frame supporting a chair and steering wheel. Mobility scooters are also known as motorised wheelchairs, motor chairs, buggies or gophers.
Australians have become injured or died after through mobility scooter use, particularly the elderly. Dangers arise when the rider does not have:
- enough hand strength and movement to use the controls, and steer and turn the scooter
- the ability to turn their head to look to the side and behind
- enough balance when riding on bumpy or rough ground
- the ability to sit for periods of time or to change the position of their body when going up and down inclines
- the ability see or hear vehicles and pedestrians approaching, or the ability to correctly judge distances
- the ability to concentrate for the entire period of the journey and to react quickly enough to stop and turn suddenly if necessary
- the ability to exercise patience in crowded areas, such as shopping centres.
- Ask the supplier to go through all the features of the mobility scooter.
- Read the instruction manual before using a mobility scooter.
- Ensure you are clearly visible at all times when riding the scooter. Use lights, reflectors and install a reflective safety flag to alert motorists when crossing roads.
- Wear a bicycle helmet at all times.
- Always stay within the legal speed limit of 10 km/h and slow down when near others, especially pedestrians and cyclists.
- Use footpaths if possible. If there are no footpaths, use quieter roads.
- Do not overload groceries or other items, as they may affect the balance of the scooter.
- Avoid stopping or driving on inclines greater than your scooter’s capabilities. Plan your trip and avoid uneven surfaces, dips and potholes.
- Be aware that taking medication or alcohol may affect judgement.