A SURVEY conducted by an insurance company has revealed that cars reversing out of driveways are the biggest safety concern for mobility scooter users in Australia.
The Blue Badge Mobility Scooter Safety and Insurance Survey also revealed that 25% of mobility scooter users had been involved in an accident at some point and 38% were involved in at least one a year.
The survey, conducted by Australia's first mobility insurance specialist, Blue Badge Insurance, comes as the number of mobility scooters on our footpaths climbs rapidly, driven by Australia's ageing population.
Of those surveyed, cars reversing out of driveways worried 33% and 31% felt at risk when crossing the road.
When asked about the infrastructure in their local area, 52% said cracks in the footpath were an issue and 41.5% found the lack of footpath ramps in their area a barrier to getting around.
Yet despite these concerns, the prevalence of accidents and near misses and growing numbers, few mobility scooter owners were comprehensively insured, according to Blue Badge Insurance chief executive Nikolas Witcombe.
"Some home and contents policies cover a mobility scooter while it's at home, but not necessarily once they leave the
house," he said.
"For peace of mind, we would urge all mobility scooter users to check they are comprehensively covered."
Tips for mobility scooter users
- Be seen. It's important to stay visible so consider purchasing safety equipment including flags, lights and reflectors
- Watch out for vehicles leaving and entering driveways, never assume the driver has seen you
- Stick to footpaths. Only ride on roads if there is no footpath and ensure you can be seen
- Only cross roads at pedestrian crossings and wait for the green light
- Don't block pedestrian access when you park your mobility scooter
- Adjust your driving to the conditions and don't use slopes that are too steep for your mobility scooter
- Make turns slowly and approach ramps and kerbs head on
- Keep the load down - don't carry too many parcels