These 3 and 4 wheeled scooters tend to be easy to manage and durable enough for daily use. While economical, and transportable, these make for an easy compromise between travel and full-sized scooters.
Mobility scooters are a popular way for people with some mobility problems to get around in their homes, the grocery store, the shopping mall, and other important areas in their neighborhood. If you are fatigued after walking to another part of your house or to your mailbox, you can still maintain your independence with the use of a fun and comfortable mobility scooter.
People who benefit from having a scooter for mobility include people with multiple sclerosis, mild cerebral palsy, severe forms of arthritis. The elderly and stroke survivors also find that mobility scooters help get from here to there without using a product that looks like medical equipment!
Here is an easy checklist to help you decide which is the right mobility scooter for you!
People looking for mobility vehicles that allow them to easily travel around on public or private transportation will find a huge array of specifically designed practical models in the mobility scooter field. The mobility scooter range offers easy to disassemble mobility scooters (each part a lightweight unit), foldable mobility scooters that shrink into really compact and handy shapes, and even auto-folding models that rapidly fold for you with the touch of a key fob. The materials used in these mobility scooters are specifically picked with easy travel in mind - expect to see aluminum frames and lightweight lithium-ion batteries keeping things nice and practical. Whether you want to pop your mobility scooter in a vehicle trunk or fly in comfort and ease, check out the excellent range of travel mobility scooters now available in abundance out there.
One disadvantage of travel mobility scooters is that they sacrifice comfort for the sake of easy transportation. So you won't see deluxe or captain seats on travel mobility scooters. If you plan on being on your mobility scooter for extended periods of time, and won’t need to disassemble or fold your mobility scooter, it’s best to look for a mid or full-size mobility scooter, which we’ll discuss soon.
3-Wheel and 4-Wheel Mobility Scooters
No informative piece on mobility scooters could be complete without mention of probably the most common question of them all: Should I get a three-wheeled or four-wheeled mobility scooter?
Let's explore some of the advantages and disadvantages of three and four-wheeled mobility scooters.
The main advantage of three-wheeled mobility scooters is maneuverability. Three-wheelers will always have a sharper turning radius than their four-wheeled counterparts, meaning they can turn extremely sharp corners in a significantly better way than mobility scooters with four wheels. If you're looking at a transportable model, 3-wheelers score higher here too. In the case of folding mobility scooters, you’ll get one that folds into a more compact shape and if you choose a mobility scooter that disassembles, it’ll feature lighter disassembled pieces.
Although designed to be 100% safe and stable, 3-wheeled mobility scooters rank lower in overall stability than 4-wheelers. The simple fact remains that having four wheels, one at each corner of the vehicle ensures extra stability and largely minimizes any risk of the mobility scooter toppling over in adverse circumstances.
Tall people or those who like a large, comfortable foot-rest area also prefer 4-wheelers - the foot space offered by 3-wheeled mobility scooters is usually less generous as the mobility scooter deck narrows towards the single wheel in front.
Four-wheelers are for people who want maximum assurance instability. With a wheel at each corner, 4-wheelers are far less likely than 3-wheelers to tip or topple over, even in unexpected risky situations.
The leg and foot room a 4-wheeler gives you is more accommodating and comfortable than what a 3-wheeler provides, given that 4-wheeled mobility scooters don’t narrow at the front end - as three-wheelers do. With four wheels, the width basically stays the same for the entire length of the mobility scooter, giving you a nice space for your feet -which is especially important to taller or larger users.
Mid-sized mobility scooters are designed for use both indoors and outdoors. Larger wheel size makes them suitable for use outdoors, but their maneuverability also allows them to be used indoors in stores, malls, restaurants, and coffee shops.
Some mid-size mobility scooters are actually transportable too. Though it would be difficult to find a foldable mid-wheel mobility scooter, many diss-assemble into a few lightweight pieces that can easily be placed in a car trunk. A wide range of prices and options, including full suspension, headlights, turn signals, and power seats are available - the mid-size mobility scooter tries to get the best of both worlds.
Full-size mobility scooters are designed not only to offer indoor independence in larger homes and spaces like shopping centers but also to maximize outdoor independence. Models range from 4 mph, 3-wheel mobility scooters with 20-mile battery ranges, all the way up to 10 mph, 4-wheel mobility scooters with 30-mile battery ranges. Weight capacities range from 300 to 500 lbs. (135-225 kg).
You would look into this range if have a large home and want to use your mobility scooter inside your home and on paved areas in town but would also like a high-speed mobility scooter that has a good range per battery charge.
Say you need to get around unpaved areas - a farm, golf course, or gravel paths. You’ll need a class of mobility scooters designed for operating in more rugged environments. The main factor separating heavy duty from standard mobility scooters is the ground clearance of the vehicle. Ground clearance means the amount of space between the ground and any part of the mobility scooter (apart from the wheels!).
The higher the ground clearance, the more the mobility scooter can pass over large obstacles rather than being impeded. The wheels and undercarriage are also reinforced to cope with the strains these types of mobility scooters often face. So for trail and off-road use, heavy-duty mobility scooters are ideal.
Heavy-duty power mobility scooters will have larger air-filled tires, often with special no-puncture technologies, ensuring that sharp objects like gravel don’t kill your tires.
These mobility scooters often come in luxury models with weight capacities up to 500 pounds (225 kg), very large battery ranges, and many other technological and comfort features.
The more deluxe models obviously come at a higher price, but you can find models with awesome capabilities at reasonable prices too.
There are many options from pouches to baskets to headlines, and many of these options have an additional charge to them, just like when you bought your car. Take your time when scrolling through the Accessories list when comparing mobility scooters and their value to your needs.
Headlights. If you drive your mobility scooter at night outdoors, you probably will want headlights. That won’t be just for the benefit of others to see you, but also for you to see cracks in your path. We do not recommend that you drive your mobility scooter in the street. Some mobility scooters come with directional signals so you can alert others to the fact that you are turning.
Crutch, oxygen tank holders. If you walk with a crutch, you can order a crutch holder for your mobility scooter. The same for your oxygen tank. If you don’t need a particular accessory right now, consider what our needs might be next year and plan ahead.
Throttle. The throttle is near your feet, similar to the gas pedal for a car, and can be moved with your hands. But if you don’t have good gripping with your hands, you might consider throttle extensions.
Left- or right-handed. If you are left-handed or have had a stroke that left you weaker on your right side, you might want to ask for a left-hand drive mobility scooter.
Colors. One of the most popular colors is red, followed by green, then blue. What was the favorite color of your favorite car?!
Tires. Most mobility scooters now come with foam-filled tires. These eliminate the problem of flat tires.
Do I need a license to operate a mobility scooter or electric scooter?
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please research your local city, county, state laws and regulations to make sure that you are operating a mobility scooter legally.
Many customers ask Rehabpulse “are mobility scooters street legal?” or “am I allowed to ride my mobility scooter on the sidewalk?”. Most of the time, it is perfectly legal to operate a scooter in these conditions. However, in some private areas, shopping centers/plazas, etc., they might prohibit the use of scooters.
We recommend that you DO NOT use your power wheelchair or mobility scooter on a main road where there are automobiles or cars or in a bicycle lane. It is DANGEROUS and likely illegal (usually punished by a fine) for driving your mobility device on a main road or bicycle lane.
You are not required to have a license to operate a power wheelchair or mobility scooter that is battery-powered in most cities and states. There is a difference between a recreational vehicle and a mobility scooter. Find out if the unit is classified as a recreational vehicle and not a mobility scooter before making a purchase. Recreational vehicles usually go faster than the average 3-5 miles per hour like a golf cart or scooter that is not designed for a handicapped person.
Laws for recreational vehicles are much different than laws that pertain to mobility scooters, and you will need to conduct your own research on local, state, and federal laws that pertain to recreational vehicles.
If you drive the mobility scooter or power wheelchair in a public area or a sidewalk where pedestrians are walking about freely then you should be fine. However, if you start to take your mobility scooter on main roads or neighborhood strolls, there are sometimes laws that you need to research which can prevent you from getting in trouble. If you stay off any roads or streets besides crosswalks, you should be alright.
The Federal Legalities:
The ADA is typically the entity responsible for setting forth regulations with respect to mobility devices and the rights of individuals living with a disability. It’s encouraged that you get familiar with the ADA Requirements for Mobility Devices which can be found here. http://www.ada.gov/opdmd.htm
The above regulation states where mobility devices such as power wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and other power-driven mobility can be used.
CHECK FOR LOCAL LAWS:
Some municipalities might set forth specific restrictions, rules, and laws pertaining to electric wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, mobility scooters, recreational scooters, and mopeds. Check with your local authorities.
KNOW YOUR STATE LAWS:
In many cases, states develop their own rules/restrictions pertaining to mobility scooters and power wheelchairs that may or may not have an impact on your ability to drive it on the main road bike lane. Check with your state Division of Motor Vehicles so that you know your rights and responsibilities under the law.