What Is a Mobility Scooter?
Mobility scooters are personal electric transport vehicles with three or four wheels that run on a rechargeable battery. They are often referred to as a power-operated vehicle. Mobility scooters also come in several sizes from compact to heavy duty. There are also mobility scooters that can be disassembled.
Who Can Benefit Most From a Mobility Scooter?
Mobility scooters are for anyone who has issues with mobility. This includes weak legs and knees or someone who is unsteady on their feet. These are the people who can benefit from using a mobility scooter. Unusually mobility scooters are for people in senior living facilities or seeking more independence in their own home. For people who cannot walk long distances it allows them to be more independent and to be involved in activities with their grandchildren, grocery store trips, theme parks, cruises, casinos, etc.
Different Kinds of Mobility Scooters
There are many types of mobility scooters, including the following:
Travel Scooters (disassembling)
Compact travel scooters are almost always smaller than other scooters. They are designed to be easy to transport which means they are lighter weight and can usually be disassembled. These mobility scooters usually have a shorter drive range than other bigger scooters.
Foldable Scooters (automatic and manual)
Foldable mobility scooters are usually smaller are designed to be folding making them easier to transport. This is a perfect feature for people who live an active lifestyle. If you’re in the market for a foldable scooter it is critical to consider the weight of the heaviest part of the scooter. If it’s too heavy you will not be able to lift it for transport.
For people who have wide hips or long legs, a larger mobility scooter is the right choice for you. Large scooters more often than not have four wheels and are designed tackle different terrains. They usually include larger batteries that can travel up to double their smaller counterparts before they need to be recharged. These larger mobility scooters also hold more weight which is referred to as the weight capacity on a manufacturer's specifications sheet. As a general rule of thumb the user should weigh 10% less than the weight capacity.
Heavy-duty mobility scooters feature the largest weight capacities and can travel the furthest distance on a single charge. These scooters have a higher ground clearance and suspension which allows them to traverse rough terrain making them ideal for outdoor use. Heavy-duty devices usually feature bigger captain's style seats for added comfort.
3-Wheel Scooters vs. 4-Wheel Scooters
A four-wheel scooter is overall more stable than its three-wheel counterpart. However, a four-wheel scooter may feel restrictive to taller people because of the the fender in front. This fender may prevent them from being able to stretch out their legs. With that being said it also most important to consider your overall stability and safety.
Features to Look for When Purchasing a Mobility Scooter
Depending on your specific needs for the mobility scooter, there are tons of different features to consider. Since there are so many features we suggest you consult an industry professional to assist you during your research.
Most people use their mobility scooter daily so it needs to be comfortable. Most scooters feature adjustable parts you can customize to your needs.
- Back support: Some scooters have seats that that can be adjusted vertically for your comfort. These usually feature a headrest as well.
- Armrests: Not all scooters include armrests but if they do they are usually height adjustable. A few scooters feature armrests that swing away so it's easier to get on and off.
- Seat: The overall seat height and if you can move it forward/backward make a difference in your comfort. Average scooter seats are roughly 17 inches and well-padded. Larger scooters feature larger seats.
- Tiller: The steering column can often be adjusted to tilt in and out allowing you to customize your riding experience.
Safety is always a paramount when looking for a mobility scooter. This is especially true if you are shopping for an outdoor use scooter.
- Seat belt: Some bigger scooters may come with a seat belt for added security. If you require a seat belt a mobility scooter may not be the right choice for you.
- Lights: A full lighting package is a must for all outdoor scooters.
- Indicator signals: We advise to not drive a scooter on the street or even in q bike lane. These signals can be helpful on any outdoor pathway. Flags can also be helpful in alerting others you are near by.
- Rearview mirrors: Rearview mirrors are important for making safe turns.
- Horn: Most scooters come with a horn which is a helpful safety feature in crowded areas.
If you are looking for a scooter you can take on the go you must consider its weight.
- Product weight: You must consider the scooter’s total weight, battery weight, and other parts you may need to lift if it breaks down. Product dimensions will indicate if the scooter will fit into your vehicle.
- The heaviest part: Scooters that disassemble will have the weight of the various parts listed separately on the specification sheet. If you cannot lift the heaviest part that scooter isn't the best fit for you.
Where and how far you want to ride your scooter will determine what features below are most important to you.
- Speed: If you plan to use your scooter mainly indoors then a 3 to 5 mph top speed will most likely be enough. If you plan to travel a further distance a faster speed may desired. Recreational mobility scooters can feature a top speed up to 18 mph.
- Battery range: The battery range a mobility scooter can travel varies. his can be anywhere from 8 to 40 miles. Nearly all scooters have a battery capacity meter allowing you to gauge how many more miles you have until your next charge. Charging a mobility scooter battery can require a charge time of at least 6 to 8 hours.
- Turning radius: This refers to the sharpest turn your mobility scooter can make. A lower number like 31 inches means the scooter can make a tighter turn and most likely can be used indoors. As a rule of thumb the higher the turning radius the more space you need to complete the turn.
- Weight capacity: Most mobility scooters can support a user weight of at least 250 pounds, but heavy-duty scooters can hold up to 500 lbs.
- Battery life: The average battery life span depends on the amount it is used. On average batteries last roughly 18 months to 2 years for smaller scooters and up to 3 years for larger mobility scooters.
- Storage space: Most scooters come with a basket or compartment to store your belongings during use.
What to Consider Before Purchasing a Mobility Scooter
What are your physical challenges? Folks with neurological issues may not possess the balance and strength to get on or off the mobility scooter safely. Cognition and vision issues must be considered also. The user needs to be able where they are going and be able to notices other people to complete safe turns. People with shoulder and wrist/finger issues may not be able to operate a scooter safely.
Where will you use your scooter? This question is critical. For indoor use smaller compact travel scooters are recommended. We suggest measuring hallways to make certain your scooter you want will fit inside your home. Larger scooters are more versatile than smaller scooters, but they are limited in where they can go. We suggest staying away from loose gravel and sand as these surfaces are challenging to traverse.
Need assistance? Our mobility experts are ready to take your call or email. Our staff is knowledgeable industry professionals who will assist you in finding your perfect fit the first time. Please call us at (727) 537-6275 or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.