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26 & 27
March 2019

NEC
Birmingham

CDP Certified

Innovations for the Future of Independent Living

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The importance of mobility product test drives

Test driving a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair before ownership is vital for maximum independence, safety and peace of mind. 

There are so many different products to choose from these days it is essential that you take your time assessing which type is ideal for your needs. You can do this by attending TGA test drive events such as at Naidex or smaller regional safe scooter driving days at mobility dealers. These provide the opportunity to test, trial and compare scooters and powerchairs in a controlled environment – giving you time to ask questions and listen to guidance from expert advisors.

Buying direct or straight from the internet may not provide the chance to try a product before delivery. This may lead to you buying a scooter, wheelchair or powerchair that is not comfortable, difficult to use or simply doesn't look good. This in turn could reduce your freedom and enjoyment – exacerbated by a lack of satisfaction and confidence. For example, a 4mph folding Minimo compact scooter and WHILL Model C powerchair will feel very different to a more powerful and larger Class 3 Breeze S4 8mph scooter. By taking a test drive you have the opportunity to learn how products handle and whether they have the capabilities to enhance your specific lifestyle. You may be looking for a transportable scooter or powerchair to take in the car, one with off-road countryside capabilities or even a product that is a proven all-rounder. Only by test driving a selection of latest models can you truly decide which is perfect for you.  

Test drives give you chance to check that you can control a product comfortably and that steering is strain-free. Being able to achieve a natural driving position with relaxed neck, arms and wrists is also important for day long comfort. Other mobility challenges you may have such as a bad back or reduced hand dexterity are all considerations that can affect seating and tiller choice. By trialling a product over varying terrain you can check that handling and stability is reassuring, especially when turning. Some products include active suspension and pneumatic tyres which delivers a smooth driving experience whereas others may have solid tyres and no suspension.

There are many more factors that underline why test drives are so important. However ultimately the fundamental benefit is safe independence for all. With greater product familiarity, awareness of personal abilities and highway code knowledge, driving a mobility scooter or powerchair will deliver an indispensable life enhancing solution.

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