How to operate a mobility scooter

If you've been injured, you suffer from a medical condition that affects your mobility or you simply aren't as mobile as you once were, you may worry that your independence might be affected.

It’s perfectly understandable that this would be a concern, but there are solutions that could make it possible for you to get around independently. Mobility scooters are popular options as they’re comfortable and reliable. However, if you’ve never tried a mobility scooter before, you may have a lot of questions.

In this blog, we look at how you start a mobility scooter, how they work and the options for making them secure when they’re not in use.

How to start a mobility scooter

Most mobility scooters are powered by a rechargeable battery that is started using a single key. Others may be powered by a start button or another variation on this. If your scooter comes with a key, it’s crucial that you look after it as it will be the only way of turning it on and preventing others from using it.

To start a mobility scooter, you need to insert the key into the ignition and twist it to turn on the battery. Then, once you’ve finished with your mobility scooter, turn the key in the opposite direction, remove it and store it in a safe place.


An older woman driving a mobility scooter.

 

How to use a mobility scooter

Once you’ve started your mobility scooter, you need to understand how to change direction, alter your speed and stop. The movement and speed controls of the scooter are located on the handlebars, allowing the user to increase or decrease the speed and move forwards or backwards with their fingers and thumbs. To change direction, simply move the handlebars left or right using both hands in the direction you want to go. When you want to stop your scooter, remove your hands from the handles and the scooter will come to a complete stop.

You should first try out your mobility scooter in a controlled environment before taking it anywhere that could pose any potential hazards. By doing this, you can become better accustomed to the controls and understand exactly how your mobility scooter works.

How to secure a mobility scooter

If you’re using a mobility scooter to get around, you may be concerned that it could be stolen when it’s left unattended. It’s important to be aware of the safety measures you can take to prevent your mobility scooter from being stolen, For added security, you should: 

Register your mobility scooter -

The National Mobility Register, a database created by the National Federation of Mobility, is a scheme that makes it possible for every mobility scooter to be registered and tracked. It costs £12 a year, and once you’ve registered, a sticker will be attached to your mobility scooter, making it easier to be identified if it’s stolen and retrieved by the police. 

Get mobility scooter insurance -

Theft is included in many insurance policies, and while it is worth looking into getting insurance for your mobility scooter, it may even be possible to get your scooter covered by your home insurance policy. 

Bring it inside as much as possible - 

Once you’ve returned home, it’s far easier to leave your mobility scooter outside. However, as this opens up an opportunity for thieves to steal it, it would be advisable to bring it inside as much as you possibly can. Not only will this take it out of the range of sight for potential thieves, but it would also be a suitable opportunity to charge it overnight. 

Fit a mobility scooter alarm -

 A mobility scooter alarm produces a loud noise anytime someone sits on your scooter or attempts to operate it without a key. It doesn’t even need to be especially sophisticated either, as the noise alone is likely to deter thieves. 

Install a tracker - 

Many of the above options are either preventative measures or methods of identifying your mobility scooter once it’s been retrieved. But if you want to find your missing scooter, you could get a tracker installed on it and use this as evidence for police during an investigation.

How to lock your mobility scooter

When it comes to ensuring that your mobility scooter is secure, the most important factor to consider is that it’s properly locked. Unfortunately, mobility scooters often only have one key for turning the battery on and off, but if you want added security, you could also consider fitting a wheel clamp or extra locks to reduce the risk of a thief being able to steal your scooter.

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