Many stores offer motorized shopping carts to their customers who have disabilities or are unable to stand or walk for the duration of their visit. These carts provide convenience and assistance to those who need to use them. However, for other shoppers, these motorized vehicles can be annoying and outright dangerous if not used carefully. Unfortunately, there isn’t any training on how to safely operate a motorized shopping cart other than a notice on the cart itself or sometimes in the area where the carts are kept. Seldom will a store assistant stop and help a person learn how to properly and safely navigate the cart. We hope to provide a little assistance here.

Can Anyone Use These Carts?

There are several reasons why a person may choose to use a motorized shopping cart. Not everyone using one of these carts is considered disabled. Children are not allowed to use the carts for obvious reasons. These special shopping carts are supposed to be used by those who are unable to walk around the store. These carts are often used by the elderly, those who easily become short of breath while walking, those with broken legs or feet, etc.

Getting Started

Sometimes, it can be challenging to find a motorized shopping cart that is actually in working order. Too often, the carts need to be charged before they can be used. When you do find one in working order, be sure to read the directions provided. You may need to call for assistance if you have trouble getting it started. Familiarize yourself with the forward and reverse levers, and steering mechanism before moving the cart. Check to make sure no one is in your way when you are ready to go.

Depending on where and how the cart is parked, you may need to back it up first. If this is the case, look over both shoulders to make sure no one is in your path. The last thing you want to do is run down someone’s child.

Go Slowly

Until you are comfortable with the operating of the cart, it is best to keep the speed slow. Moving too fast can cause a variety of problems, from knocking things down to running into other shopping carts or people. Narrow aisles can be difficult to navigate, especially if you need to turn around. Going slow is safer for everyone.

Do Not Use the Cart Outside

Most of the motorized shopping carts used in the stores are not intended for outdoor use. In fact, serious injuries have resulted from people using the carts outside of the store because they toppled over. Unless it clearly states you can use the cart outside, be safe and only use it inside the store. These types of carts do not work well on uneven surfaces. If you have purchases that are more than you can carry to your car, ask for help. Someone at the store will be happy to load up a regular cart and help you put your purchases in the car.

Generally, motorized shopping carts are safe and convenient. However, accidents do happen. If you have been injured while using one of these vehicles, you may be entitled to some remuneration for your injuries. Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A. has highly skilled and caring attorneys who would be happy to offer you an initial consultation at no cost. Contact us today if you need legal assistance.