Investing in a mobility scooter can be an excellent option for those who have otherwise limited mobility. Specifically, a scooter can provide safe and comfortable transportation to locations that are too far to reach by a traditional wheelchair or on foot. However, because mobility scooters are motorized, there are some inherent safety risks that come along with using one. As such, there are some tips worth keeping in mind for those who are new to using a scooter.
Make Yourself Visible
Making yourself visible is extremely important--especially when you're traveling along busy streets. To increase visibility, consider attaching a brightly colored flag to your scooter. If you plan on doing any traveling at night in your scooter, you'll also want to have reflectors (either on a vest you wear or directly on the scooter itself) to help motorists see you more easily. This can help to prevent an accident.
Maneuver Curbs and Ramps Carefully
To reduce the possibility of tipping over on your scooter, learn how to properly maneuver around or navigate curbs and ramps. When traveling up any sloped surface on your scooter, you should always approach the incline or decline head-on. Failure to do so could result in your scooter tipping over and you injuring yourself. Also, be aware of your paths when traveling; know ahead of time which obstructions (such as a curb with no ramp) you could encounter along the way and what you can do to navigate around them.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
You never know when an accident could occur or a medical emergency could strike, so always keep a cell phone (or change to use a pay phone) on you at all times when operating your scooter outside of the home. It's also a good idea to keep a list of emergency contact numbers somewhere on your scooter so that emergency responders or even bystanders can contact the right people in the event that you become unable to speak.
Never Assume Right of Way
Pedestrians are always supposed to have the right of way, and this remains true when it comes to motorized scooters. However, you should never assume that a motorist will give you the right of way--even at a stop sign or light. It's always better to be overly cautious than to end up in an accident that could have been avoided, so practice defensive driving when operating a motorized scooter at all times.
For more information, talk to a scooter supplier like Access Mobility Products.