Women call for introduction of mobility scooter tests following their mother’s death
After the death of Eileen Fieldsen, who died after falling off her mobility scooter, her daughters are calling for compulsory mobility scooter tests which they believe would have prevented her mother’s death.
Tracie Hailstone, Karen Logan and Lynne Martin are calling for the introduction of a mobility scooter driving test for scooter users, to make them more aware of different dangers while driving.
An inquest heard that Eileen was travelling on a pavement when she sharply turned, which caused her to become unsteady and fall off her mobility scooter. The doctors found that she had sustained a traumatic brain injury and, two days later, she died in hospital.
Assistant Coroner Louise Pinder, of Derby and Derbyshire Coroner’s Court, ruled that the 73-year-old’s death was accidental.
Louise told Derbyshire Live: “Mrs Fieldsend fell from her mobility scooter on July 5, 2018, and struck her head on the carriageway, sustaining head injuries.
“She turned sharply to the left on a relatively steep slope as a result of which she became unsteady and fell off the scooter. My formal conclusion is that Mrs Fieldsend died as a result of an accident.”
Eileen’s daughter Karen has said that if a test were implemented for scooter users, which gives users different obstacles and scenarios while driving to make them more aware of different hazards, it could have saved her mother’s life.
She told the local newspaper: “There should be a driving test to show that you can handle the scooter in different situations. It’s like when you do a test in a car, you are shown different scenarios. You should go out and experience a few different environments. It’s common sense.
“I think people would be much more aware when they were driving the vehicles – they would have better control of them and be able to deal with a wide range of scenarios.”
She added that scooter safety regulations could also have changed her mother’s outcome.
“If she had a seatbelt on she wouldn’t have been flipped out. If she had to wear a helmet she wouldn’t have suffered a traumatic brain injury,” Karen continued.
“There’s a strong possibility that mum would still be here if there was a driving test and regulations on safety equipment.”
In July Louise Pinder wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport calling for a change in the law on who can purchase mobility scooters following a series of scooter-related incidents in Derby, such as Mary Parker’s death following a collision with a car whilst on her scooter.
This highlights the prevalence of mobility scooter accidents and fatalities as well as a lack of mobility scooter assessment and testing. Recognising this issue, Oxfordshire County Council recently rolled out a scooter safety course, designed to keep scooter users safe and improve their driving skills.