Scooter Safety Tips for Navigating Different Weather Conditions

The weather is not always a good one for a scooter ride. Driving in a bad weather could bring several challenges. But that doesn't mean you have to give up your travel moment. Take it from this, "It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." -Sir Edmund Hilary of Sacred Rides. To conquer riding in different weather conditions, we must get ready and keep in mind the safety tips especially in for mobility scooters. Mobility scooters offer a new freedom for many people however it poses a lot of challenges while on the road.

A senior enjoying strolling around with her mobility scooter.

 

The Importance of Pre-Trip Planning and some tips on how to do it.

The odds are if you ride long and far enough, sooner or later you’ll be confronted with bad weather, willingly or not. It could start off as a clear day, but then turn ugly and huff and puff you around the next corner. Nevertheless, get off a good start. Here are some pre-planning tips:

  • Be relaxed. Remember, smooth and relaxed equals faster and safer riding. 

    Let your subconscious be in control. It’s possible to overthink the process of riding a scooter and give the controls too much input, like correcting your line in a curve, re-correcting it, and so on. Most of our bodily functions, like breathing, are controlled by the subconscious or unconscious mind providing just the right action or input. Once a proper technique has been committed to muscle memory, this can also be true for identifying and avoiding hazards. Riding relaxed is not only safer but also more mentally rewarding.

  • Health and Medications. Your ability to use you're a mobility scooter can be affected by your health and any medications you’re taking. Check with your doctor before riding to make sure you have the ability to safely operate your mobility scooter.

  • Basic Skills. The basic skills you need are strength, balance, coordination, good eyesight and perception. If you have all these skills, then you are good to go.

  • Check the tires. Keeping your tires properly inflated has many benefits. Your tires will wear evenly, which prolongs their life. When correctly inflated, your tires can perform at their best which means better handling, dependable traction, and a more comfortable ride.
      • Check your scooter batteries if it is fully charged prior to use. For maximum performance and longevity, invest in high-quality batteries.
      • Decide what route you will take to get there and how long it will take. Stop and walk around. This can reduce cramps and stiffness. Plus, exploring places is fun.
      • Sit properly and securely on the scooter before moving it. Stress importance of maintaining posture. Many rollovers are caused by shifting weight side to side or sitting too far forward causing tips.
        • Pack enough food and water and a little extra in case your trip takes longer. If you’re not the type that likes to eat out, you can pack a lunch. But even if you are, you might want to bring along some snacks. It’s also important to take water with you to make sure you don’t get dehydrated.
        • Bring Emergency Kit. A good emergency kit incorporates items for both you and your scooter. Keep a few spare parts and tools to fix common issues. You should also bring a simple first aid kit like saline dressings, skin protectants, bandages, and basic medicines. A rear lockable enclosed basket is a must-have in your scooter for these essentials. It will keep your personal belongings safe and secured.
          • Take along a list of emergency phone numbers as well. Doing this could be a relief in case you need to call for an emergency while on the road.
          • Make sure you're visible. Use a flag and wear bright clothes when riding your mobility scooter to make sure cars and pedestrians can see you.

            Bear in mind that it is better safe and prepared than sorry. Fortunately, it’s not nearly as difficult as it seems. All you need to do is sit down and approach planning systematically. You might be surprised if the trip practically plans itself!

             

            Riding in the Rain

             Preparing for any ride is important, but if you know you are going to hit bad weather and have no other choice but to head to it, the following are a few pointers that’ll get you through it. After all, if you are riding a scooter, you are possibly exposed to rain. Keep in mind the following tips:

            • Install a canopy and side enclosure for your scooter so it will serve as a protection from the rain. Improve your experience by getting the right type of canopy and side enclosure for your ride.
            • Watch the road. What used to be kind-of slippery is now very slippery. White lines on the roads will have become ice rinks, metal plates/manholes are super dangerous, avoid them like the plague.
            • Relax when riding. Take it slow but surely.
            • Make sure you're visible. Visibility has an important part to play to keep you safe while you are riding your 4-Wheel Scooter.  Wear coats and jackets that have a light reflector strip so that it makes you visible and at the same time it can keep you warm while on the road. 
            • Make sure your tires are not worn and have correct pressure. Remember that tires take longer to warm up in the rain, and don’t swerve to warm them up. Stop and go riding is the ultimate technique to warm up tires, and can help put some heat in them quicker in the rain.

            • Avoid riding in the dark. Always travel during the daytime. You will have proper light, and you will be able to see the road much easier. If you are riding in the dark, then you can need good lights with you so that you can see the road tracks easily.

            Riding in the rain will at times be necessary, and you should not stop riding just because it is raining. Relax and enjoy the ride. You are after all riding a portable scooter and that is fun. ENJOY IT.

             

            Riding in Hot Weather

            In extreme heat, the body loses fluids at a higher-than-normal rate, which can cause dehydration. When that happens, the body produces less perspiration or even none at all, and, in combination with physical exertion, certain medical conditions and high environmental temperatures, hyperthermia, and heat stroke can develop. Learning how to keep cool properly while riding in hot weather can help prevent these health-related issues.

            • Stay hydrated. Always bring a bottle of water. Keep yourself from caffeine and alcohol. These are diuretics, which cause you to urinate and lose more water. When it’s hot, steer clear of sugary drinks, caffeine, and alcohol. Also, never drink alcohol directly before or during your ride.
            • Dress appropriately. Wear light clothes but keep your body as covered as possible. Long exposure to sunlight may cause sunburn. 
            • Watch out for signs of heat-related illness including profound sweating, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, headache, hot flushed dry skin and rapid heart rate.
            • Look Out for Others. Controlling a mobility scooter is a lot like driving a car in certain aspects. Say for instance a person riding a mobility scooter needs to be attentive to pedestrians and cars. When riding this aide on the sidewalk, be careful of the pedestrians who are unmindful or are suddenly changing tracks or maybe exiting stores. Similarly be very careful about the cars or bikes passing by, especially near the turns in the road. At all times, keep yourself alert, so as to avoid unfortunate collisions.
            • It is a good idea to set the speed control to a lower level to avoid an accident. Be especially careful if you need to reverse, that your way is clear of shop fittings and people. Three-wheeled scooters with their maneuverability and lightness of steering are more suited to shopping.

              • Consider using a canopy for your scooter as a protective shade against the sunlight.

                 

                 

                Riding in Cold Weather

                Being too cold can lead to shivering, exhaustion, confusion, memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness, low energy, slow reaction times, and stiff and sore joints. Prevent this to happen by being prepared. If you want to enjoy the experience of riding in cold weather while being safe, you'll need a few pointers to ensure you stay comfortable, and thus focused on the ride. Take a look at these tips:

                • Gear Up. Get a good quality of gloves and boots to keep your hands and feet warm. Invest in a pair of synthetic, silk or wool long underwear. You must buy a riding jacket which adds a lot of safety to your body. I would suggest getting all season riding jacket so you are protected all times. A neck warmer or scarf is a good addition to stop that sneaky breeze down your back.
                • Consider installing a windshield for your 4-Wheel Scooter. The obvious benefit to windshields is that they do what they’re made to do. Namely, they shield you from the wind. This provides a quieter, more comfortable ride. It protects your hearing and it allows you to hear yourself think.
                • Check your tire pressure. Check this religiously before every ride. This is more than crucial during the cold weather when optimal traction is needed.
                • Eat some food to warm up. Eating generally leads to a slight increase in body temperature, as your metabolic rate increases in order to allow the digestion of food. 
                • Hydrate. Not enough water in our body can lead to fatigue. Drink more water.
                • Weatherproof your scooter. You weatherproof already yourself by gearing up for the cold weather. Likewise, you need to protect your scooter too. The engine of the scooters should be kept covered with some cloth or fabric so that the engine is kept warm. A Scooter Cover is the best choice for this while the scooter is parked or at a stop by. 
                • Be cautious while driving. Focus your full attention on the road and surroundings. Watch out for road signs. It will be a great help in reaching your destination safely.

                Hot, Cold or Rainy weather, whatever it is, SAFETY FIRST should be kept in mind. Therefore, we must invest in high-quality scooters as well as scooter accessories so we could be confident in driving and bravely face the challenges on the road. 

                 

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