Mobility Scooters: 15 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Mobility scooters can be a great way for people with mobility issues to maintain their independence and freedom. 

However, like any type of vehicle, it is important to use them safely and responsibly to avoid accidents and injuries. 

In this article, we will be discussing some common mistakes that people make while using mobility scooters and how to avoid them. 

By understanding and avoiding these oversights, you can help ensure that your mobility scooter experience is safe, enjoyable, and stress-free. 

We will cover tips on how to properly operate and maintain your mobility scooter, as well as safety guidelines for using them in public spaces. 

So, whether you are a first-time mobility scooter user or a seasoned pro, this post is for you. 

With the information provided, you will be able to navigate the streets and spaces with confidence and enjoy all the benefits that mobility scooters have to offer.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mobility scooters can be a great way for people with mobility issues to maintain their independence and freedom, however, there are some common mistakes to avoid.
  • It is important to use mobility scooters safely and responsibly to stay away from accidents and injuries.
  • You can check out our mobility scooter driving guide with tips on how to properly operate and maintain a mobility scooter, as well as safety guidelines for using them in public spaces.
  • Some of the 15 most common mistakes to avoid include not charging the battery properly, driving on the road, poor driving posture, driving too fast, leaving the scooter in freewheel mode, hanging weight from the tiller, and using only one hand to steer.
  • By understanding and avoiding these common mistakes, mobility scooter users can ensure that their experience is safe, enjoyable, and stress-free.

How to Safely Operate a Mobility Scooter

Although Mobility Scooters are designed to be reliable and easy to use, there are still certain things you should focus on while driving them to ensure a safe and seamless experience.

We have put on together a driving guide full of tips and things to consider whether you are a new scooter driver or an experienced one:

By following simple guidelines such as being predictable when you operate your device, slowing down, and trying to stay away from groups of people, you will probably avoid most of the common mistakes listed here.

However, being aware of these common faults many people commit without even knowing will also inform your driving.

15 Common Mistakes to Avoid With a Mobility Scooter

From simple, easy-to-fix issues to more serious ones, here is a list of every common mistake we see in our daily experience with mobility scooters.

Don’t take any of these personally, but pay attention and try to avoid doing these things in the future.

For many, we have exclusive resources linked that will help you a lot.

1. Not Charging The Battery Properly

The battery of your scooter is perhaps the most essential part of it, and ironically probably the one that will bring more issues during its lifespan.

A great way of preventing these problems, or at least to slow down their appearance is by making sure you are charging your device properly.

This is, leaving it overnight, even when the indicator says it’s fully charged, and avoiding drying it up when you use it.

For more battery care tips, go here:

2. Not Keeping Your Battery Charged

It has happened to all of us.

You need to make a quick trip to the store because you forgot something for dinner, but then you notice you forgot to charge your mobility aid after you last used it.

To avoid this issue, simply put the charger on whenever you come back on.

And don’t worry, almost all modern scooter chargers will cut the power draw when the battery is full, so there’s no risk of overcharging it.

3. Driving on the Road

A big no-no for scooter usage is taking your device on the road.

Mobility scooters are considered pedestrian vehicles and should only be used whenever you would otherwise go on foot.

For more specific info about this topic, check out the following article:

4. Poor Driving Posture

With time, it’s normal that as you relax on your driving chair you start slouching and bending your back by supporting your weight on the tiller.

Although this is normal, this is not a recommended driving posture and can limit your responsiveness and ability to control the vehicle.

Always strive to keep an upright posture, and make sure you can reach every input and steer the scooter properly on both sides.

5. Driving Too Fast

Powered scooters can be fun to drive, and allow you to make short trips way faster than if you were to go on foot.

However, there’s a very high correlation between driving at high speeds and accidents.

Slowing down a bit will let you enjoy the ride, and keep you safe, especially when exploring new roads, or in places with many obstacles around.

6. Leaving The Scooter in Freewheel Mode

As you might know, contrary to cars, brakes on mobility scooters are actuated automatically any time you are not pressing the throttle.

So, if your scooter is not in use its brakes will be engaged.

The freewheel mode in a scooter allows it to be pushed and moved without the breaks or engine affecting the wheels.

The thing is, it’s very common to leave that setting on, and the next time you jump on the scooter you might think it has broken down.

Scooters in freewheel mode will not respond to any inputs, and will not work until you change the driving mode.

Think of it as a car being put into neutral.

7. Hanging Weight From the Tiller

Although the tiller of a scooter looks like the perfect surface to hang your grocery bags from, avoid it at all costs.

Adding weight to the front of the vehicle can be a cause of accidents since its center of gravity will be shifted to an unnatural position affecting its stability.

Also, making the tiller heavier will prevent you from being able to steer properly, not allowing you to avoid obstacles or make quick adjustments while driving.

8. Using Only One Hand to Steer

Unless you have a condition that limits the mobility of one of your arms, and it’s impossible for you, you should always have your two hands on the tiller, at least when steering.

This will allow you to be more precise in your turns, and help you balance your weight in the vehicle.

9. Accelerating As Soon As The Unit is On

Powered scooters usually require a few seconds after they are turned on to properly initialize their systems and be ready to be driven.

If you throttle the device as soon as you turn it on it will likely be non-responsive for a while, and if you keep the input set it might provoke a sudden start that could result in a crash or a fall from it.

10. Driving Under The Influence

As with any other vehicle or piece of machinery you should never drink and drive your mobility aid since you will be putting yourself and others at risk.

For more about this and its possible consequences, check out the following article

11. Not Removing the Charger Cable Before Going

If you left your scooter charging overnight, as it is recommended, and you have to get going quickly, you might forget that the cable is still plugged in and damage the scooter charging port, the charger, its cable, or the power outlet on your wall.

Always check if your scooter is ready to go, and disconnect it from its charger before you get on it.

12. Distractions While Driving

Although driving a scooter can be a pleasant activity, especially outdoors, you should always pay close attention to your surroundings and the vehicle.

Avoid using your phone while driving, as well as listening to music on headphones since they will isolate you from what’s happening near you.

13. Not Planning Your Trips In Advance

Although it might sound like too much of an ask, planning your trips in advance can sometimes make or break your experience with the device.

Especially for long trips, knowing where you are going and how you are getting there will help you manage your device’s range.

It’s important to know if you will find any obstacles along the way, and if the path you intend on taking is prepared for serving personal mobility vehicles, by having ramps and the proper width, for instance.

14. Not Being Aware of Terrain and/or Weather

Most mobility scooters are not fit to perform properly over rough terrain, or climbing hills.

Apart from the possibility of losing traction and swaying dangerously for the driver, any of these efforts will drain the battery quickly.

Also, the weather is an issue to consider since too much heat or cold will influence the performance of your battery, making it drain faster, and also rain will make the roads slippery and hazardous.

15. Not Doing Proper Maintenance to Your Unit

Finally, as with a car, personal mobility aids need to be taken care of regularly.

Doing proper maintenance to your scooter will make it safer more reliable, and even save you money on repairs down the line.

We have created a thorough maintenance framework you can bookmark and follow here:

All the claims made in this article are only for informational purposes, based on the writer’s experience and not clinical advice. You should always consult your physician or physical therapist if you have any doubts about how this applies to your specific case.