An electric mobility scooter can greatly enhance personal mobility for those who have trouble getting around. However, like most conveniences in life, power scooters can come with some risks. The biggest risks are usually in close proximity with automobiles. An accident between an automobile and a mobility scooter is a certain loss for the scooter.
The most important thing to remember when you re using a mobility scooter outside your home is that even though you re riding a device with wheels, you are technically a pedestrian. Always keep your mobility scooter on a sidewalk or easement and never venture out into the road unless you re on a crosswalk.
If you use your power scooter outdoors, make sure that you can be seen. Because they re relatively small and are operated from a sitting position, mobility scooters are easy for inattentive drivers to overlook. When crossing a street, make sure you have enough time to make it all the way across before any oncoming traffic arrives. Don t rely on the fact that you have the right-of-way to keep you safe against a driver that may or may not see you.
If you re going to be using your power scooter after the sun goes down, you should get a model that comes equipped with a headlight and reflectors. These features allow you to be seen by oncoming traffic. If you already have a mobility scooter that doesn t have this equipment, consider purchasing after-market products that you can attach to your frame or tiller. A powerful light or reflector makes you much more visible after the sun goes down.
Even though power scooters go relatively slow when compared to full-size automobiles, you should treat them with similar deference when it comes to operating them while inebriated. Never operate your mobility scooter when you re drunk or otherwise inebriated. Driving a power scooter with impaired judgment is introducing an unstable element into a situation where you need to be as alert as possible, just because you re not in a car doesn t mean there aren t great dangers that could arise.
Another big thing to keep in mind is that you should take your time when turning corners. Even if your mobility scooter is nimble and has tight turning radius, you should slow down when you make a turn. Taking corners too sharp or too fast can result in a scooter taking a spill on the floor or pavement. Most mobility scooters come equipped with auxiliary anti-tip wheels, but those only go so far to keep you upright.
One of the most essential things you can do before you use your power scooter is to make sure it has a full charge before you use it. Having a full charge before you leave the house helps to ensure that you ll make it back with energy to spare. Having a battery run dead in the middle of a cross walk or a grocery aisle isn t just annoying but potentially dangerous.
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Probably the most underutilized safety feature of any mobility scooter is the owner s manual. Having an intimate knowledge of your scooter and how it works is essential, and you ll never know when that knowledge could come in handy and help you avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
At the end of the day, common sense is your friend when it comes to power scooter safety. Don t assume that just because you re on a slow moving vehicle that everyone will automatically defer to you. Be aware of your surroundings and make sure that others are aware of you.