A mobility scooter is a vehicle used for being mobile at home and outdoors. Mobility scooter is specifically designed keeping in mind the senior and disabled users. These machines can also be used by overweight and pregnant users; after all it serves the very important purpose of faster access to indoor areas inside the house and outdoor areas like the market place, shopping mall or grocery shops.
Mobility scooters are designed ergonomically so the user can easily access small passages. This leads to a completely independent usage experience for senior users which is unlike the case in motorized wheel chairs.
These machines are also available in different types like foldable for optimum use of space and heavy-duty scooters for over weight users. The mobility scooter is a mechanically advanced and powerful machine that allows a travel distance of 25mph for each battery charge. A mobility scooter is a battery propelled machine.
It is in fact the perfect replacement to motorized wheel chairs. Although it is expensive in comparison with motorized wheel chairs, insurance is conveniently available for mobility scooters. Insurance companies are liberal in mobility scooter claim payments as this machine is considered to be an important medical device.
Types of Mobility Scooters
Mobility scooters are available in different types of sizes and motor capacity depending on the purpose of their use.
The following are the four major types of mobility scooters:
The Travel Scooter is the number one choice of frequent travelers. The travel scooter is easily foldable and fits perfectly in the back of your car. The scooter is light weight and easily transportable anywhere.
You can also carry the scooter when you take the airway mode of travel. The scooter batteries which can be a matter of concern for the airline companies are absolutely sealed for safety.
This scooter is best for people who do not lack the full ability to move; that is they are either partially disabled or they can walk lesser distances due to old age.
3 Wheel Mobility Scooter
The 3 Wheel Mobility Scooters is the right choice for users who have minimum ability to move. The inability to move is usually due to old age, disability and over-weight. The maximum weight carrying capacity of this scooter is 300 to 400 pounds.
The 3 Wheel Scooters is the most suitable choice for the senior citizens. Due to its multi-purpose usage both indoors and outdoors it is designed for maximum endurance and adaptability.
You can choose among the variety of accessories for greater level of comfort. Accessories like Swivel seats and arm rests can be taken for a stable seating arrangement. Storage baskets can also be installed to carry shopped items whenever required.
4 Wheel Mobility Scooter
The 4 Wheel Mobility Scooter is a super machine that is precisely manufactured for outdoor usage. The scooter easily moves through rough paths that consist of gravels. It is not very appropriate for the indoor usage due to its bulky body, broad base and knotty tire pattern.
The wheels are broad so they enable a bigger turning radius. This feature allows you to take steep turns safely. The 4 Wheel Scooter is available in two sizes regular and heavy-duty. This machine gives maximum stability and durability for outdoor usage due to its mega structure.
Heavy Duty Mobility Scooter
The Heavy Duty Mobility Scooter is recommended for users who have a larger body structure and find it difficult to move. This scooter is recommended for outdoor usage. The maximum weight carry capacity of this machine is up to 500 pounds.
These scooters are extremely tough and heavy weight. Due to its heavy weight it is difficult to transport them, so they can be parked in the garage and used outdoors whenever required.
They can be transported in a truck or a trailer. The suspensions and the body frame have a robust built for a strong performance.
Mobility Scooters are available in various sizes and motor capacities depending on the type of usage and performance requirements of the user.
As mentioned above usage pattern differs in three main categories; Only Indoor Usage, Only Outdoor Usage and Both – Indoor and Outdoor usage.
The following are the factors that one should consider before buying a Mobility Scooter:
- You should study your usage perimeter that is – Do you need the scooter for outdoor/Indoor Usage? You may need the scooter for both indoor and outdoor usage.
As mentioned above mobility scooter models differ with the variation in usage pattern:
|Sr.No.||Mobility Scooter Type||Usage||Recommended Usage|
|1||Travel Scooter||Fit for both Indoor and Outdoor usage.||Outdoor.|
|2||3 Wheel Mobility Scooter||Fit for both Indoor and Outdoor usage.||Indoor.|
|3||4 Wheel Mobility Scooter||Fit only for outdoor usage.||Outdoor.|
|4||Heavy Duty Mobility Scooter||Fit for bulky users. Outdoor usage.||Outdoor.|
- Mobility Scooters are available with a few useful accessories like seating arrangements such as swivel seats and arm rests and storage baskets for frequent shoppers. You can choose your accessories and get them installed.
- Suspension and position of controls are also important buying consideration factors.
- Are you a frequent traveler? If yes, you should think of buying the Travel Mobility Scooter. If No, please refer the above table.
- Driving a mobility scooter outdoors requires you to have driving skills similar to any other car or bike rider. A mobility scooter for outdoor usage should be a planned rather than an impulse buying decision.
The following are a few of the mobility scooter driving skills:
a) Awareness of the outdoor geography.
b) Caution about the surroundings.
c) Ability to sit for longer durations. (Comfortable swivel seats are available with most models)
d) Ability to turn your head to check for pedestrians and traffic.
e) Good eye sight. If you have eye sight limitations, please wear corrective lenses.
f) Ability to balance your body on rougher terrains.
g) Do consult a Doctor/ Mobility professional before making the buying decision.
Kindly note: (For a detailed list of skills please browses this link – http://www.altegen.com/health-wellness/choosing-your-first-mobility-scooter_1.html)
- Different mobility scooter models are designed to fit your specific usage category. When you decide to buy a particular mobility scooter, please read the instruction manuals carefully. Although some safety considerations in the manual can sound common sense, they are usually the most important ones.
- Please note that most 4 Wheel scooters can be driven on rough paths but there are some 4 wheel scooters which cannot cope with the stony paths. If you have a usage pattern that requires you to ride the scooter on rough terrains, please consider a 4 wheel scooter that has knobby tires.
- Understand with the help of mobility professional whether the particular 4 wheel mobility scooter you are buying is suitable for a rough terrain.
- 3 Wheel scooter although fit for both indoor and outdoor usage. It is advisable to use it indoors only because some of them may not be robust enough for outdoor usage. Please talk to a mobility professional before making a decision.
- Do check if your scooter has safety flags and mirrors installed. While driving, the pedestrian visibility increases due to flags and mirrors enable you to notice objects that are behind you.
- The mobility scooter is a mobility aid and not a full-fledge car or a bike. Incase of a breakdown your dealer would help you but this may not be possible when you are travelling in remote places. Keeping this fact in mind, you are required to carry the spare parts and battery with you at all times. If you are not sure how to replace the parts, do carry a mobile phone with you at all times. A mobile phone can help you call for help.
- People who are visually impaired or possess low and limited vision capabilities should consult a doctor before making the buying decision.
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