mobility scooter safety guide

mobility scooter safety guide
Information Guides
SEPTEMBER 2016
MOBILITY
SCOOTER
SAFETY GUIDE
INTRODUCTION
Mobility scooters and
powered wheelchairs can
provide more freedom and
independence to many
disabled and older people.
They can help you get out
and about, access shops and
services and visit friends
and family.
They are simple to use, easy
to maintain and economical
to run.
There is now a wide range
available so it is vital for you to
find the one that is most
suitable for your needs.
Whilst mobility scooters and
powered wheelchairs have
many benefits, it’s important to
remember that some of them
are quite powerful, heavy and
could cause considerable
damage to the user or to
other people.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
3
4& 5
6
7
8
9
10
11
DID YOU KNOW
DEFINITIONS
ON THE MOVE
INSURANCE
PLAN YOUR
JOURNEY
ON THE ROAD
OUT AND ABOUT
USEFUL CONTACTS
DID YOU KNOW
If you ride a mobility scooter, you are responsible for
your own and for other people’s safety. Whether you
ride on the pavement, footpath or road, you must
follow the highway code.
MEDICAL ADVICE

Check with your doctor to ensure you are fit
enough to use a scooter or powered
wheelchair.

If you have a disability that will restrict your
movement, a simple adaptation to the
scooter may be all that’s needed.

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, make
sure you wear them every time you drive
and have your eyesight tested regularly.
We’ve put together
the following
guidelines to help you
choose the right
equipment and to
help you use and
enjoy it safely.
IMPORTANT BASIC ADVICE

Make sure that you get a scooter or
wheelchair which is appropriate for
your particular needs, e.g. size, height,
weight and restricted movement.

Make sure you are familiar with all of
the controls on your scooter before
you use it to go out.

Make sure the scooter is properly maintained. Have it thoroughly checked (the
manufacturer’s handbook will tell you how often to do this). A second-hand scooter
may not have instructions or still be under warranty, so remember to ask about this if
you are buying one.

Keep the battery fully charged and get
to know how far your scooter can go
before it will need recharging.

Remember that the distance you can
travel will depend on the condition of
the battery, the weight you have on the
scooter and the kind of route you follow.
3
INSURANCE
Although you don’t have to have insurance by law,
the Department for Transport strongly advise
people to take out mobility scooter and powered
wheelchair insurance to cover personal safety, other
people’s safety and the value of the vehicle.
MOBILITY SCOOTER INSURANCE FROM FISH INSURANCE
We know just how important your mobility scooter or powered wheelchair is to your daily
life, that’s why we have designed an insurance policy that not only gives you peace of
mind but helps keeps you moving at home or abroad.
KEY BENEFITS
4

Up to £2m Public Liability
cover

Accidental damage including
fire and flood

Theft and vandalism

Get-you-home allowance in
the event of loss or
breakdown


Hire of replacement scooter
Personal accident
Fish Insurance has been providing
specialist insurance in the UK for
over 40 years.
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS
WITH MOBILITY EXTRA

Our mobility Extra insurance is our enhanced policy which offers all the benefits of
our Standard policy plus extended UK breakdown cover

Taxi fare home (up to 10 miles) if you're unable access the recovery vehicle
To get a little friendly help from our experienced team call us
on 0333 331 3776 or visit our webite at fishinsurance.co.uk
To find out more about our mobilty product visit
fishinsurance.co.uk/products/mobility-scooter-insurance/
From only
*
per year
5
DEFINITIONS
Three types of wheelchair are defined in The Use
of Invalid Carriages on Highways Regulations
1988:
CLASS 1
Manual wheelchairs
These wheelchairs are not electrically powered. You use
your arms to move the wheelchair, or you are pushed by
another person.
CLASS 2
Powered wheelchairs
and scooters
These are only suitable for riding on pavements or footpaths
and have a top speed of 4 miles an hour (6km an hour).
CLASS 3
Scooters
These are suitable for riding on roads and have a top speed of
8 miles an hour (12km an hour). They must not weigh more
than 150 kilograms without the driver and any load. These
also have a switch to limit the top speed to 4 miles an hour
(6km an hour) on pavements or footpaths.
A Class 3 vehicle is not legally defined as a motor vehicle and
the user does not have to have a driving licence or take a
driving test.
However, a Class 3 vehicle can only be used by a disabled
person aged 14 or over, or by an able-bodied person who is
demonstrating a vehicle before selling it, training a disabled
user, or taking a vehicle to or from a place for maintenance or
repair.
REGISTRATION
Class 1 and Class 2 wheelchairs and scooters do not have to
be registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
(DVLA).
However, you must register a Class 3 vehicle with the DVLA.
There is no fee to pay and the vehicle does not need
registration plates.
To register a Class 3 vehicle, complete form V55/4 for new
vehicles, or V55/5 for used vehicles. You can get the forms
from DVLA’s online ordering service: www.gov.uk/dvlaforms
6
PLAN YOUR JOURNEY
Don’t put yourself into dangerous or risky situations
by taking a route which is too demanding for you or
your vehicle.
The most direct or
shortest route is not
always the best
route to take. Steep
hills, high kerbs or
other obstructions
may make it
impossible to tackle
certain routes.
You may take a Class 1 wheelchair and
a Class 2 powered wheelchair or
scooter on some buses and trains, but
before travelling, always check this
service is available for both outwards
and return journeys for your class of
vehicle. Ask for slow transfers
between trains when planning your
journey to give you more time to make
connections if required.
7
OUT AND ABOUT
“See and be seen! If you are
using anything to protect you
from the weather, make sure
it does not restrict your
vision. Wear fluorescent and
reflective materials and have
fluorescent and reflective
markings on your scooter.”
Remember to put your lights on to help
other road users see you.
Always remember to turn the scooter
off when you get off.
Remember which speed your scooter is
set on.
Don’t drive your mobility scooter or
powered wheelchair if you have been
drinking or taking drugs.
Don’t use your scooter or powered
wheelchair if any medication you are
taking causes drowsiness.
Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing,
scarves and long coats, which can
easily be caught in the wheels.
Mobility scooters are constructed and
designed for the driver only. Don’t put
yourself in any danger by carrying
passengers, whether a child or adult.
Carrying or leading a pet while you
are on your scooter can present a
major safety risk. If you need to have
an assistance dog with you, be
careful.
Mobile phones can be a distraction,
so pull over and stop before using
one.
Overloading your scooter with
shopping or other goods can also
make the vehicle unstable. Bags
hanging from the handlebars will also
make a scooter more difficult to
control.
Leaning forward and reaching to put
items into you scooter can also be
dangerous. If the scooter is turned on
you can knock the controls and move
it forward. A tiller that is too close to
your stomach can also hinder
steering, knock controls and cause
collisions.
Make sure you don’t leave valuables
such as a purse or handbag in the
basket on the front of a scooter or
hanging on the back of a powered
wheelchair.
8
ON THE MOVE
“In a crowded area, you
must make sure that you
do not run into anyone
or cause any damage
with your scooter.”
Always be aware of pedestrians and
other road users. Remember that
pedestrians have right of way and may
not see or hear you approaching them,
especially from behind! When
reversing, look behind you before you
move off or change direction.
Slow down in plenty of time. There may
be a delay in braking on some scooters.
Be careful when going round corners
as your scooter could topple over if you
go round too quickly.
If you are using a Class 3 vehicle, you
must switch over to the 4 miles an hour
(6km an hour) setting when you are
using it on a pavement or footpath.
Some scooters are only designed to be
used safely on pavements or footpaths,
except when you are crossing roads.
Be careful when going up and down
kerbs. Always approach at right angles
and do not go up or down kerbs higher
than recommended for the type and
size of your wheels (look in the
handbook for information).
Where possible, cross roads where
there is a dropped kerb and use
pedestrian crossings.
Take extra care when you cannot see
the way ahead clearly. For example, if
you are approaching a corner where
there is a wall or hedge restricting your
view.
Be very careful when approaching
corners or junctions on loose gravel, a
slippery surface or going downhill.
Do not park your scooter where it
would cause an obstruction and make
it difficult for others to use the
pavement or footpath.
If you have to use a lift, drive in and
reverse straight out safely as most lifts
don’t have the space for you to turn
around in them. Beware of other lift
users.
5
9
ON THE ROAD
“Remember that you are not driving a car but a very small
slow vehicle, which is very vulnerable. It is wise to avoid
using busy roads. ”
To drive on the road, you need a vehicle that can travel up to 8 miles an hour
(12 km an hour). It must also have headlights, rear lights, flashing indicators
and a horn.
When on the road, you must follow the same rules as other traffic.
You must keep to the left.
You must obey traffic lights and all other road signals and instructions,
including stop signs, give-way signs and signs for one-way streets.
You must give way to pedestrians on crossings.
At night, you must have your headlights and rear lights on.
Although it is not recommended, you can use dual carriageways if you have
an extra flashing amber warning light on a pole so it can be clearly seen.
You are not allowed to use bus lanes or cycle tracks.
You must not use your scooter on motorways.
Always indicate before pulling out or turning left or right.
When you are passing parked cars, look out for doors opening.
10
USEFUL
CONTACTS
AGE UK
0800 169 2081
DVLA
0870 243 0444
BHTA – British
Healthcare Trades
Association
020 7702 2141
FISH INSURANCE
0333 331 3776
DISABILITY
RIGHTS UK
020 7250 8181
DISABLED LIVING
FOUNDATION
020 7289 6111
MOTABILITY
0300 456 4566
NHS HELPLINE
111
SHOPMOBILITY
01933 229644
DISABLED
MOTORING UK
01508 489 449
MOBILITY
SCOOTER
SAFETY GUIDE
7
11
Fish Insurance is a trading style of Fish Administration Ltd. Company Registration no: 4214119 England & Wales.
Fish Administration Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, under firm reference number 310172. You can
check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website at www.fca.org.uk or by contacting them on 0800 111 6768.
^Calls to 0333 numbers are usually chargeable at a local rate from both UK landlines and mobile phones. These calls are usually
included within network providers’ “free minutes” packages. *£25 discount applies to 1 year Mobility Scooter/Powerchair Insurance
policies purchased online, normally priced at £79. Available to new customers only.
1609-1008
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