The biggest fear for mobility scooter users 137



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Canes, walkers and scooters all serve the same purpose – to increase mobility. And as the population ages, more people will require the use of these devices for their mobility. However, a recently study has revealed shocking concerns about one device: the scooter. Do you feel safe riding around in a scooter?

A Blue Badge Insurance study revealed that cars reversing out of driveways is the single biggest safety concern for mobility scooter users in Australia. Unfortunately, their concern is justified. Of those surveyed, 25 per cent of scooter users had been involved in an accident at some point and 38 per cent in a near accident at least once last year. Why is this happening? Is there any way to stop this growing and all-too-real fear?

We are constantly being reminded to stay active as we age and keep moving but some people will still require mobility scooters. There is also the preconception that scooter users are all old, however, with growing hip, knee or other physical problems, people ranging from 50 and beyond are now using these products.

According to the survey, there are currently 120,000 mobility scooter users in Australia with numbers growing at approximately 9 per cent annually and expected to reach 280,000 within 10 years. With this increasing number of scooter users and the ageing baby boomer cohort as a whole, health and wellbeing concerns are an essential consideration. Should our community be increasing public awareness of these concerns? Who is responsible for ensuring their safety – the public or the users or both?

We want to hear your thoughts on this issue. Are you a mobility scooter user? If so, what is your biggest fear? Do you find that people are mindful of you on the roads?

Tell us below. 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Scooter hazards – overhanging branches and overgrown shrubs outside fences – Uneven footpaths – Sudden drop between driveways, instead of ramps – concrete edging too close to ramp making access difficult – debris on footpaths, discarded clothing, broken umbrellas, fallen branches, tree prunings, broken glass, three-corner jacks that puncture the tyres, (things that “fall off the back of a truck” such as wooden palettes, hub caps, lounge chairs, etc.), house building material dumped on path – cars parked on or across footpath or blocking ramps, and backing vehicles from behind high solid fences. I’m not joking. I have experienced these things.
    I avoid crossing near roundabouts, going further down so that I have more time to see traffic only coming two ways instead of from all directions.
    But my worst fears are having to travel on a busy highway because paths and service roads are under repair or construction. Thankfully council workers have been very helpful in such circumstances.
    Despite all this I value my independence. I only travel for appointments, or of necessity, not for pleasure.

    1 REPLY
  2. not keen of them…my dad fell off it a few times…he had the 3 wheeler….

    1 REPLY
    • Same as my Dad. He also has a three wheeler and because the path was so narrow he also has fallen a few times. He will not use any more. And he lives in Earle Haven at Nerang which is supposed to be for the older citizen.

  3. Just watch them and sunset, I was almost knocked by one when the operator was in a hurry to get to the pub.

  4. I unfortunately had severe sciatica whilst visiting Disneyland. Hired a mobile scooter. It was great fun Probably because I knew in a couple of weeks I could be independent again. It certainly made things easier. It’s a long way to go for nothing.

  5. I have seen these and been in public places with people using them. The speed needs to be limited as they go too fast in shopping areas etc etc.

    5 REPLY
    • You can set them to high or low speed my husband used to set his mother on low speed but she used to turn on to high.she nearly ran me over one day in the Main Street funny part she didn’t even know it was me until I told her

    • The speed can be limited the problem is the disabled owner takes a dim view of anyone fiddling with their scooter but they have to be made to realise that they have very poor judgement of just how fast they are going….but there is another side to this story a lot of people do see the scooter coming and deliberately walk in front of the scooter user and then turn and abuse them for the sheer heck of it. Safety with mobility scooters is a two way street and the scooter user should not be expected to take all the blame for the incidents that occur in the shopping centrez.

      1 REPLY
      • Why would people walk in front of them on purpose . Most normal people are not that stupid

    • Disagree the scooter user is to blame they have no knowledge. If the disability is real and not just a scam to use the scooter there is no rule or regulation. A genuine person with a disability is trained to use the mobility device with an OT. Old age is no excuse for ignorance. So many of these scooter users park outside shops blocking entry and do quite a fast pace shop on foot
      People with a disability have lived a life time with no mobility in most instances and are inhibited by these selfish ignorant scooter users.

  6. Maybe if they slowed down on the footpaths they would feel safe, twice in one week l nearly got cleaned up by one, they need to remember to be more courteous as the drivers do not own the footpaths

  7. An experience I’ll never forget. Driving my car out of a petrol station on Sugar Rd Maroochydore (heavy traffic area) looked left, right, left then right and then proceeded onto the road. Suddenly this mobile scooter was in front of me! He was coming down the hill on th footpath. Thank God nothing happened as I as just taking off. But it could have! My heart was racing. Now due to a bad leg I am on a mobile 4 wheel scooter. Been there done that!

  8. I’ve nearly been run if a few times by people on mobility scooters. Scary! They don’t slow down, just keep going. Woh be rude who ever gets in their way.

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