Travelling in Winter
In the North of Scotland with the dark nights and the cold weather it’s the time of year when many people are travelling about at night who don’t normally do so. But if you are using a mobility scooter or powerchair, below are a couple of points to consider to make sure you are safe when travelling about in the dark.
Protect the battery
The cold weather can affect your scooter battery so you should try to store it away from the elements - ideally inside such as a shed or garage. if this isn't possible, keep it under cover. To help prevent the battery from freezing put a blanket over it when you store your scooter to keep it insulated.
Many medium size and large mobility scooters and powerchairs already have lights fitted but many smaller portable products don’t have lights fitted as standard so you might need to think about fixing some additional lights. The best way to get a light fitted is to look at push bike lights which can then be mounted onto the tubing to provide a visible light to other pavement and road users, one of the benefits of this is that the lights won’t drain your battery so you will still get the distance you normally achieve.
Plan Your Journey
If you are travelling about in the dark it is always advisable to plan your journey and use well-lit areas as much as you can, when crossing the road make sure that you are visible and don't cross between two parked cars because you may not be seen by road users.
Check the forecast
Always check the weather forecast before you travel. If it's icy outside try to avoid hills by taking a safe alternative route. If you need to go on a longer journey than normal make sure your equipment is fully charged. And don't forget to make sure the ferrule on your walking stick has a good tread for icy pavements when you get off your scooter - we will replace it for free (for a donation in our charity box) in our Inverness showroom.
Cheap reflective products are available to ensure you are visible so you might want to consider purchasing something such as a reflective vest or jacket which will also keep you warm! A reflective bag is also available which slips onto the back of the seat. Most electric mobility products have reflective stickers mounted onto the back but you can also purchase reflective strips which can be mounted higher allowing it to be more visible to other pavement and road users.
Keep In Contact
Make sure you have your breakdown insurance contact details with you so if you do break down you can call for help quickly. Try and inform people of your movements and if you are travelling to someone's home why not give them a call when you are on your way. Also do the same when you are travelling back, just to keep yourself safe.