By Thomas Hewitt
A new training video is being developed by Nottingham Trent University to improve road safety for first-time mobility scooter users in the area.
The project, led by psychologists at the Clifton Campus, will provide mobility scooter users with guidance on the type of hazards they may face, how to spot them and how to prepare for them.
There are currently between 300,000 and 350,000 people using mobility scooters in the UK, with the number expected to rise up to 10 per cent per year.
However, in 2014 there were more than 200 reported mobility scooter-related collisions in England and Wales, nine of which were fatal.
Dr Duncan Guest, a psychologist in the university’s School of Social Sciences at Clifton Campus, suggested the need to introduce optional training for users in the Nottingham region.
He said: “There are a number of health and wellbeing benefits associated with using mobility scooters, such as increased independence and improving self-esteem.
“However, these benefits might not be realised if someone uses a scooter for the first time and gets into a difficult situation. Our aim is to improve the safety of new mobility scooter users and reduce potential collisions.”
Copies of the training video will be sent to Shopmobility outlets and other mobility charities in the area.
Dr Guest also said there is more to a safer mobility scooter experience than simply understanding the controls.
He added: “Whilst handling is important, we think it is vital that users also receive information about the types of hazards they might encounter and advice on how to deal with these.
“To date, no-one has asked mobility scooter users about these, and we think that engaging with the local community and developing a training tool will be really beneficial for new scooter users by improving their safety and their experience.”