A new user training video is being developed to improve mobility scooter safety and will be distributed among Shopmobility services and mobility charities.
The project, run by Nottingham Trent University, will offer guidance on hazards and has been launched in response to the growing number of scooter accidents which correlates with an estimated 10% rise in scooter users each year.
The initiative is inviting users to drive along a route while the journey is recorded from the user’s point of view. Eye-tracking technology will also be used to show where the driver is looking.
Dr Duncan Guest, a psychologist in the university’s School of Social Sciences, said there was a need to introduce optional training for users.
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.”
The video will be created using a combination of real-time and staged footage.
Dr Guest said there was a lot more to a safe mobility scooter experience than simply understanding the controls.
“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,” he said.
“To date, no-one has asked mobility scooter users about these, and we think that engaging with this community and developing a training tool will be really beneficial for new scooter users by improving their safety and their experience.
Nottingham Trent University has received a £89,000 grant from the Road Safety Trust for the project.