Whether it concerns a bicycle, a car or a scooter; you have to be able to fully trust that your means of transport is safe. This is not always the case when it comes to mobility scooters. In this blog, we will therefore discuss the four most common scooter accidents and how we have used this knowledge to make Scoozy safer.
Safety at the core
In 2018, SWOV concluded that mobility scooters must become safer. This conclusion was based on their research for the Dutch government, in which they analyzed 35 serious scooter accidents between February 2015 and October 2017. The results showed how such accidents occur and which aspects of infrastructure, behavior and vehicle play a role in this. The SWOV released a report with specific design recommendations such as improved stability and the addition of an active brake. “The report’s findings were not new to us. By looking closely at the causes of the investigated accidents, safety has become a priority in our design. Scoozy is the first in the market to include SWOV’s recommendations,” says Job van de Kieft (CEO).
“The report’s findings were not new to us. By looking closely at the causes of the investigated accidents, safety has become a priority in our design. Scoozy is the first in the market to include SWOV’s recommendations,” says Job van de Kieft (CEO).”
Below we discuss the four most common accident scenarios, the subsequent recommendations from SWOV and the corresponding solutions from Scoozy.
The most common cause of accidents is falling over (69%). This is mainly due to the smaller wheels and poor suspension, causing the scooter to lose balance more quickly which makes it vulnerable in uneven road conditions. Also the chance of tipping over after contact with an obstacle or bump is very high. SWOV’s first recommendation is therefore to improve the stability. Scoozy has done this by adding large, 16-inch wheels with independent suspension. These wheels make it easier to drive up to a curb or over obstacles and uneven pavements.
A second major cause of accidents is the confusion between accelerating and braking. When you ride a bike, your intuitive response is to squeeze the brakes when you need to stop. With a mobility scooter, you have to let go to stop. In result, the confusion between forward, reverse and braking has led to steering errors which played a critical role in 27% of the accidents. SWOV therefore recommended an active brake. Our solution? An intuitive joystick control: left is left, right is right, forward is forward and reverse is reverse. When releasing the joystick, Scoozy brakes like a scooter. By pulling the joystick back, you can make an emergency stop with a significantly shorter braking distance. This makes Scoozy unique with an active brake. As a driver you have the feeling of control again.
Limit steering angle
In addition to falling over because of an obstacle, mobility scooter accidents also occur when the user makes a too sharp turn at high speed (7%). While some advanced scooters may reduce the speed slightly, no scooter can affect both steering angle and speed. Scoozy, on the other hand, knows exactly how sharp you can steer. The limited steering angle ensures that both speed and turning radius are correlating when turning on a higher speed. This means that the speed is automatically reduced, and the turning radius gradually becomes smaller. As a result, Scoozy does not fall over when you make a too sharp turn at high speed, which is exactly what SWOV recommends.
There is a lot you can do to prevent it, but unfortunately collisions in traffic can never be completely ruled out. In the event of a collision between a scooter and another road user, the scooter’s poor visibility is the cause in 9 percent of the cases. Scoozy is clearly visible and stands out in traffic due to:
- High-positioned rear lights and direction indicators in the seat.
- Reflective bar placed in the seat on the rear.
- Low headlights to see the road surface clearly, also at night.
- Highly placed front lights and indicators in the armrest.
The combination of the control system, the stability, the steering angle limitation and the good visibility makes Scoozy a safe means of transport that meets the recommendations of SWOV. In the meantime, we continue to innovate in the field of safety.