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:
- 1The 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.
- 2Ensure the key isn't in the key switch to avoid accidentally turning on the mobility device.
- 3Check on the tiller to ensure it is unlocked.
- 4It's now time to get on the scooter. Approach it from the side and stand next to it.
- 5Check whether the seat rotation lever is engaged and disengage it. Then, rotate the seat such that it faces you.
- 6Reengage the seat rotation lever to prevent the seat from swinging as you attempt to access it.
- 7Assume a comfortable sitting position and disengage the rotation lever once more. This will allow you to rotate until you face forward.
- 8Then, 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.
- 1Ensure 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.
- 2Insert the key into the keyhole and turn it on.
- 3Place 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.
- 4The throttle control lever helps you accelerate your scooter. Usually, it's on the left side of the control panel. See the figure below.
- 5Release 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.
- 1Before reversing, ensure your mobility scooter is at its lowest speed.
- 2Engage 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
- 1Bring the scooter to a complete halt and turn it off.
- 2Remove the key from the keyhole.
- 3Disengage the lever securing the seat in place so that you can rotate and face the scooter's side.
- 4Exit 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.
- 1Charge new batteries for at least 10 hours to achieve a full charge.
- 2Never 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.
- 3When you're not using the scooter for a while, always ensure you charge the batteries once a week.
- 4Do not expose the batteries to extremely high and freezing temperatures.
- 5You 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.
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.
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.