While reading online and in newspapers too, it’s surprising the amount of people that have witnessed mobility scooters being operated in a less safe manner than most would expect, and even the fact that every now and then someone actually gets hit by one and in some extreme cases there have been road collisions involving a mobility scooter and other road vehicles, sadly resulting in a loss of life in some cases.
There has been some discussion regarding this in the comments of one of the articles here on Mobilityright at be seen on your mobility scooter and it appears that mobility scooter users can become frustrated at times with pedestrians and road users not using common sense but equally there is an agreement and understanding for mobility scooter users themselves to operate safely while on pavements, roads and especially within very public areas like shopping parades, highstreets and indoor shopping centres.
While some mobility scooter users will have insurance, not all will be covered and it depends what a policy may actually cover them for, but prevention of an accident or incident is much better than having to deal with a difficult situation where a pedestrian is hit by a mobility scooter or a car is involved in an accident with a mobility scooter.
A good place to start with regards to safety is with the retailers themselves, and fortunately most will provide some basic guidance and training of safe an correct use of a mobility scooter, but of course the retailer from the moment of actually selling to the customer, can then only rely on the user being a responsible individual once they are out and about and within the general public.
It’s a bit like how a driving instructor can teach you the most correct way to perform each task in order to drive safely and accordingly, not just for yourself but for the safety of other road users and pedestrians, but of course once you have passed your driving test and you’re out there on the road by yourself then some of what your driving instructor told you to do will quickly become less of a habit, you will pick up a few bad habits (this is quite natural) and the driving instructor that you had can not be there with you anymore and is not responsible any longer for how you drive.
While a mobility scooter can only travel at a few miles an hour, they can still cause some damage if they were to hit a pedestrian.
If a mobility scooter is hit by a motorbike, a car or a larger vehicle, there’s the unfortunate and very likely possibility that the mobility scooter and its user are going to come off worse from an accident and there’s the very real risk of a fatality from an accident like that.
Also it’s worth taking into account that users wont be wearing a protective helmet so if you had an accident in which you are thrown to the ground or slammed against something then the risk of a head injury could turn into a very serious situation.
While you cant be responsible for the actions of road users and pedestrians, you can be responsible for your own safety and how you operate your mobility scooter by doing everything as correctly as you can, altering your speed when necessary, making yourself visible with high visibility clothing or something attached to your mobility scooter that brings attention to you and helps people to see you easily.
Hopefully the majority of the time, most motorists are keeping their eyes open for you, and hopefully most people using public pavements and areas are doing the same too, but you know that it only takes that one person not looking, a person listening to music, a child running around, maybe a dog not on a lead , even a person who suddenly makes a rush across the pavement to catch a bus, all of these possibilities and more can happen at any time, quite often hard to see coming and not always avoidable.
In an ideal world, none of us would get in each others way and public pavements and roads would be safe places, but unfortunately in our very real and often dangerous world we all have a responsibility to look out for each other as well as ourselves.
You can only do so much, and some things will be unavoidable at times but at least if you do your bit for street safety, not only are you contributing to a safer public environment, but you know that should something go wrong and an accident does happen, then you can feel assured that you did everything right.