As useful as medical mobility scooters and power chairs are for people with trouble getting around, they are only as good as their proper use makes them. At all times the person sitting in the chair or the caregiver walking behind it must maintain control in order to keep the rider and everyone in the vicinity safe.
Safe Operation of Motorized Chairs and Scooters Requires Control
The best scooter and electric wheelchair models feature easy to use controls that help the rider use them correctly and in a safe manner. These take the form of a directional joystick that allows the rider to easily speed up, slow down, stop, and change directions using just one hand.
If the person sitting on the mobility scooters or power chairs does not have the manual dexterity to use the joystick safely, a caregiver will need to pilot the chair. Caregiver models offer full joystick controls conveniently mounted on the back of the chair so a loved one, nurse, or aide can navigate in public without having to push and turn manually.
Navigating Around Others in Public Places
One of the most important things to remember when using the scooter or power chair in public places is to follow the rules of the road. Some of the larger scooters can be used to drive along the side of the road to a local shop or a neighbor's house. These should not enter normal traffic lanes and should have appropriate lights, reflectors, and other accessories to increase visibility.
Most motorized chairs are used around the house and yard and when shopping or traveling. Stay to the right side of walkways and follow all appropriate rights of way rules. Safety means more than preventing falls or fatigue. With all the social and active benefits of using mobility scooters and power chairs, it is important to always take into account the actions of the people you are socializing with.