If you have physical limitations that make it difficult for you to walk long distances, a mobility scooter can open up a whole new world: where you can stay active in your community, enjoy shopping, visiting friends and running errands — all independently.
We want you to enjoy the independence and quality of life a scooter can give you, which is why Bluesky takes your safety very seriously. Unfortunately, scooter accidents do happen — but many are avoidable by making sure you choose the right scooter for your needs and following some simple safety tips.
Is a scooter a safe choice for you?
To safely drive a mobility scooter, you need a combination of good hearing and eyesight (wear glasses if you need to), strength, coordination, balance and concentration.
You also need to be alert to drive a scooter, so if you regularly take medicine that makes you drowsy, a scooter may not be a safe choice for you.
That’s why it’s always wise have a check up with your doctor or occupational therapist before buying a scooter. Once you have bought a scooter, continue to have regular check-ups.
Thinking about how, where and when you will use your scooter will help you to make the best and safest choice for your needs. For example, a compact scooter that is ideal for indoor use may not have the weight, power or suspension for outdoor use on rough surfaces. Whatever type of terrain you will be covering, Bluesky recommends only 4-wheel scooters for their stability, as 3-wheelers are prone to tipping over.
Get some training
Once you have chosen your scooter, it’s time to get some training so that you feel confident, can learn some simple safety rules and you are aware of any potential problems spots in your local area — like uneven footpaths or potholes.
When you purchase a mobility scooter from Bluesky, we provide complimentary training around your home and neighbourhood at the time of delivery. We won’t leave until you are comfortable driving your scooter! And of course, you can call a Bluesky Healthcare consultant at any time if you have more questions.
Follow these simple safety rules
Under Australian road rules, a mobility scooter is treated as a pedestrian — as long as it cannot travel faster than 10 km/h and is used by a person who has difficulty walking or is unable to walk.
As a pedestrian, you should ideally drive your scooter on footpaths, shared paths, in parks, in shopping centres and to cross roads at pedestrian crossings. It’s best if you can plan your trips using a route where you know there are footpaths. Only use your scooter on the road as a last resort.
When using your scooter, follow these simple rules for everyone’s safety:
- If you do need to use the road, choose quiet streets rather than busy main roads. You should stick as close as possible to the kerb and try to face oncoming traffic.
- Keep an eye out for parked cars, for cars reversing into or pulling out of a parking space and for drivers opening their doors.
- Watch out for vehicles coming out of and into driveways and never assume that a driver has seen you.
- Use a bicycle flag, lights and reflectors and wear bright clothes to help make you more visible. This is especially important if you need to use your scooter on the road or when there is less daylight. Your scooter must have front and rear lights and indicators if you plan to use it at night.
- Never drive your scooter after drinking alcohol. Ask a friend for a lift in their car or catch a taxi instead.
- Wear a safety helmet to reduce the risk of head injury.
- Only cross the road at pedestrian crossings and always wait for motorists to stop before you start crossing.
- Don’t overload your scooter with shopping — too much weight can make you more likely to tip over and large parcels may block your view.
Please note that this article is not intended to be used as a legal document. If you require more detailed information about the legal requirements of driving a motorised mobility scooter, please contact your local state roads authority.No Comments »