When heading out on your scooter or powered wheelchair, you should plan for whatever the weather may bring. Especially in the colder months, the weather can be unpredictable, so it’s even more important to be prepared before you head out.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a few simple tips to help you stay safe and mobile this autumn and winter:
- Stay visible
- Protect the battery
- Check the forecast
- Plan your route (and make sure you’ve downloaded Motability Assist)
- Watch out for kerbs
- Pre-journey checks
- Speak to your dealer
Top tips for scooter and powered wheelchair users:
1. Stay Visible
The shorter days mean it’s more likely you’ll be travelling outside of daylight hours. If you need to travel after dark, make sure you’re as visible as possible. Many of the larger scooters have lights, but if yours does not, it may be worth buying a high-visibility jacket or vest so that you’re more noticeable.
2. Protect the battery
The cold weather can affect your scooter’s battery so you should try to store your product away from the elements – ideally inside, such as in a shed or garage. If this is not possible, keep it under cover to help prevent the battery from freezing. Remember, a weather-proof storage cover was included in your lease package for when your product is not being used.
3. Check the forecast
Always check the weather forecast before you travel. If you have a smartphone, you may want to consider downloading a weather forecasting app so that you can check for any changes whilst out and about. In the event of snow, or where snow is forecast, it’s really best to avoid any journeys that are not absolutely necessary.
4. Plan your route
If it’s icy outside, try to avoid any hills by taking an alternative route, and stay clear of rural roads or places you know may be hazardous. This may add more time to your journey but it will be worth it to stay safe. If you do go on a longer journey than normal, ensure your product is fully charged – you could even take your charger with you in case you need to top up the battery while you’re out.
5. Watch out for kerbs
Fallen leaves can accumulate against kerbs and make them appear lower than they are, or even disguise them altogether, so it’s worth using dropped kerbs and designated crossings wherever possible. You should always be careful, and reduce your speed, when mounting or dismounting pavements and kerbs.
Your dealer should have explained the maximum kerb height that your product can climb, but if you do not know then please ask your dealer or refer to the manufacturer’s manual.
6. Pre-journey checks
Before you set off, we recommend taking a moment to check the following:
- Tyres: Are your tyres sufficiently inflated? Are there any signs of damage? If you notice anything, speak to your managing dealer for advice.
- Battery: Do you have enough battery charge to complete your planned journey? If you’re in any doubt, you might want to consider delaying your trip.
- Clothing: If you break down, will you be warm enough while you wait for recovery? If not, take an extra layer just in case.
- Medication: If you take any prescription medication, would an issue with your scooter impact when you next need to take this? If so, it might be worth taking it with you.
7. Speak to your dealer
If you have any concerns about your scooter, now is the time to speak to your managing dealer and make sure everything is working as it should. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and get any issues checked out as soon as possible, even if it’s only a minor concern.