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How to Use a Mobility Scooter: Avoid Injury with These Top Tips

By Maurice

How to Use a Mobility Scooter

Using a mobility scooter for the first time can be dangerous, and it’s important to learn how to use a mobility scooter to avoid accidents. Usually, you'll receive an Owner's Manual, which will have the basics of the scooter's operation. However, some scooters are complicated such that you'll need to enroll for driving courses offered by various healthcare institutions.

But what if you could learn all the above without all the class enrollment hustle? This article guides you through the entire process, including the various scooter operation steps for first-time users. Even better, it supplements the operation tips with the best YouTube videos for the best results.

How to Use a Mobility Scooter for the First Time: Step-By-Step

Before you learn how to operate the mobility scooter, pay attention to the following precautions before you get on the scooter:

  1. 1
    The freewheel lever must be in the drive mode. The motor will run if the scooter is on freewheel mode, but the scooter will not move. See the figures below to understand the appropriate lever positions.

Pull the freewheel lever downwards to exit freewheel mode into drive mode and upwards to enter the freewheel mode.

  1. 2
    Ensure the key isn't in the key switch to avoid accidentally turning on the mobility device.
  2. 3
    Check on the tiller to ensure it is unlocked.
  3. 4
    It's now time to get on the scooter. Approach it from the side and stand next to it.
  4. 5
    Check whether the seat rotation lever is engaged and disengage it. Then, rotate the seat such that it faces you.
  5. 6
    Reengage the seat rotation lever to prevent the seat from swinging as you attempt to access it.
  6. 7
    Assume a comfortable sitting position and disengage the rotation lever once more. This will allow you to rotate until you face forward.
  7. 8
    Then, reengage the lever to secure the seat in position.

Mobility Scooter Operation

The figure below indicates the mobility scooter tiller controls that will help you understand the mobility scooter operation process better. However, this might vary depending on the model.

  1. 1
    Ensure the speed adjustment dial is in its slowest speed setting. You can do so by turning it fully anti-clockwise, but it varies depending on your scooter's model.
  2. 2
    Insert the key into the keyhole and turn it on.
  3. 3
    Place your hands comfortably on the handlebar. To control the mobility device, turn the handlebar to the left to navigate the scooter to the left. Similarly, turning it to the right will steer the scooter to the right.
  4. 4
    The throttle control lever helps you accelerate your scooter. Usually, it's on the left side of the control panel. See the figure below.
  1. 5
    Release the throttle control gradually to minimize the speed. The scooter stops when you release the throttle control completely. The speed control dial will help you maintain a modest speed limit. Additionally, your mobility scooter has an electronic brake system that automatically engages as the scooter's speed decreases. For emergency brakes, release the throttle lever at once, and the brakes will engage.

Steering the Mobility Scooter

Never turn at high speeds when controlling your mobility aid device, as it could tumble over. You should also ensure there are no obstacles when engaging a corner.

Reversing

  1. 1
    Before reversing, ensure your mobility scooter is at its lowest speed.
  2. 2
    Engage the left thumb lever by pulling or pressing it (depending on the model) and begin reversing, avoiding all corners and obstacles. Reversing needs expertise to perfect, meaning it might take time before you master the technique.

How to Get Off Your Mobility Scooter

  1. 1
    Bring the scooter to a complete halt and turn it off.
  2. 2
    Remove the key from the keyhole.
  3. 3
    Disengage the lever securing the seat in place so that you can rotate and face the scooter's side.  
  4. 4
    Exit from the scooter carefully.

Instructions Regarding the Batteries and Charging

Usually, your mobility scooter will require two batteries to run smoothly. The instructions below will help you get the best out of these batteries.

  1. 1
    Charge new batteries for at least 10 hours to achieve a full charge.
  2. 2
    Never leave the house with a battery charge below 30%. You can ensure this never happens by charging the battery every night after use for at least 6 hours.
  3. 3
    When you're not using the scooter for a while, always ensure you charge the batteries once a week.
  4. 4
    Do not expose the batteries to extremely high and freezing temperatures.
  5. 5
    You don't have to worry about overcharging as original chargers have a cut-out that automatically stops charging after the battery is fully charged.

Best YouTube Videos on How to Use a Mobility Scooter

The above tips will come in handy when learning to use a mobility scooter. However, supplementing them with YouTube videos will make the process more practical and straightforward. Hence, follow the links below to access some of the best tutorial videos.

How to ride a mobility scooter and how they work. Scooters Australia.

How to drive a mobility scooter

How to Use A 3-Wheel Mobility Scooter

Mobility Scooters Direct - Battery Proper Use Tutorial

How Does A Mobility Scooter Work?

Mobility Scooter Safety Tips

Learning how to operate a mobility scooter is one thing, but running it safely and cautiously is equally crucial. You don't want to ruin your device or end up with injuries after getting involved in an accident. Or do you?

The tips below will help you operate your scooter safely.

 Test Drive the Mobility Scooter

Operating a mobility scooter for the first time requires confidence for efficient maneuverability. To gain such confidence, you need to test drive the mobility scooter in various landscapes before going out in public. For instance, you can go out to the field and understand different aspects of your scooter, like how the brakes work. This way, you'll be confident when operating it on the street.  

Research Beforehand

Are you visiting a new location with your mobility scooter? If so, ensure you call ahead and ask whether the place is mobility scooter accessible. You can ask about the measurement of the doorways to confirm if your mobility scooter will fit through. Doing so will help you prepare in advance in case of inaccessible areas.

Be Cautious When Crossing the Street

A mobility scooter makes you appear smaller than other pedestrians. As a result, you are likely to be invisible to drivers and motorists. Even with safety equipment like lights and flags, it's critical to be cautious by paying close attention.

Ensure All the Wheels Remain in Contact with the Ground

Your mobility scooter is likely to tumble over if you misuse it, regardless of whether you're operating a four or three-wheel model. To avoid this, ensure you approach areas like slopes and curbs head-on rather than at an angle. Moreover, engage corners at a slow speed and never turn the controller to full lock while making a turn.

Avoid Overloading Your Scooter

Overloading your scooter puts too much pressure on the motor, resulting in potential damage. Additionally, overburdening it may throw it off balance, causing it to tumble over. For this reason, ensure you carry only the manufacturer's stipulated weight limit. Alternatively, opt for a model with a higher weight capacity, depending on your needs.

Conclusion

 The safe operation of a mobility scooter is vital. The important thing as a first-time owner is to study your device appropriately before attempting to use it. Go through the Owner's Manual that accompanies the scooter's delivery package in addition to the guide tips above. Afterward, you can open the YouTube links above to guide you through. Remember, you can always ask for help by contacting the manufacturer for further clarification.


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