Mobility scooters.

 

This page will give you a few tips and suggestions for buying a mobility scooter to get around, I have personally had 2 scooters. My first was a larger Shoprider Cordoba with I later traded in for a smaller Shoprider Strider 8

Much of what I say here may seem obvious but when purchasing a scooter you may not think of all the criteria until you come across them. Before rushing out to buy a scooter why not try to use one first. Shop mobility is a national organization that encourages the development of a network of schemes from which you may borrow or hire scooters. Many of these are also members of the National Federation of Shopmobility and its members can be found on their website. Not all schemes however are NFSUK members so the best for you to find your nearest scheme is to us Google to search 'shopmobility + your town's name'

There are 2 categories of scooters, class 2, that can't be used on the road and are governed to 4 mph and class 3 which are allowed on the road provided they meet certain criteria and these are governed to 8 mph and should be registered with the DVLA

Another consideration is if you wish to take your scooter on a train. Each company has its own rules. Also check accessibility at your local station so if you wish to travel by train don't buy a scooter too big, a mistake that I made! Some scooters also have suspension! If using your scooter on the road remember to regularly check your tires for the recommended pressure and also tread wear. Having the right pressure maximizes your range. If you use your scooter on public roads you will fall under the same legislation as cars

Now, how many wheels should your scooter have? A 3 wheeler is great for shopping for a few items in that it has a small turning circle so doing u-turn between the isles is easy. However as 3 wheelers are generally smaller you will be limited to how much shopping you can carry on the floor of your scooter. You can generally carry more on a larger scooter!

what about rain canopies and covers to keep you dry? covers that cover only the driver are fine as long as you remember that it will not be easy to put on if you only have the use of one arm. Complete canopies are fine as long as you remember that you will need extra height to store your scooter. They are also not a good idea in strong winds and as the UK is experiencing more extreme weather I would not recommend it. A cover for your the instruments I feel are also a waste as I have parked in light British rain on many occasion with no ill effect. If a downpour is expected I try to park in a sheltered place out of the downpour

Before purchasing a scooter remember that you will need a place to park it overnight and preferable with a power socket so you can charge it up ready for the next day! If you intend storing your scooter indoors first try to get it indoors by yourself remembering that your balance will not be what it was before your stroke.

The range of scooter depends on the size of the batteries and remember the meter on the scooter is only a voltmeter and so not a true reflection(when you are stationary) of the charge remaining and will give a better indication while the scooter is driving and under power. To increase range you may be able to exchange your batteries for larger capacity ones but make sure that they fit into the holders!

Guidance for driving on the road

Before moving onto a road ensure that you switch is set to 8mph and your throttle pot to its maximum!

As an experienced HGV driver, keen cyclist and also a larger motor cyclists I have come to drive in such a way that other road user have no doubt as to which way I want to turn, picking my lane well in advance. I never 'undertake' any other vehicle on the left but rather patiently wait behind ensuring that I can see the drivers eyes in his mirror. I also drive at least 1.5m from the road edge to prevent being cutoff or pushed off the road remembering that I have as much right as any other slow moving vehicle (milk carts and cyclists) but I also make sure that I am clearly visible from behind but just in case I also keep a sharp look out for any approaching vehicle in my rear view mirrors!

When driving amongst pedestrians remember to switch to 4mph and approach pedestrians slowly and only when clear of them should you speed up and slow down at the next group of pedestrians

A problem that I had to overcome was that the non self neutralizing indicator was out of my reach while driving so I would have to stop after turning to stop the indicator. This was dangerous as there would be several impatient motorists behind me
I had two waterproof floor switches fitted by Frank and Bob and Tom of the Hertfordshire South branch of REMAP
Turning right!
After the turn simply remove your foot!