Twenty years ago the only affordable option for anyone losing their mobility was to buy a wheelchair, but times have moved on and mobility scooters are now affordable and even stylish.
Aside from price, the biggest barrier to owning a mobility vehicle used to be its driving range which was severely limited. However, modern scooters can travel as far as 25 miles on a single battery charge making them far more versatile than an electric wheelchair.
So why might you think about buying a mobility vehicle?
Not surprisingly a mobility scooter is an obvious alternative for someone who, through injury or a physical restriction, is confined to a wheelchair.
However, the biggest Market for these scooters is not from former wheelchair users, but rather from those of advancing years or those with a weight and size problem that limits their mobility.
For the older person a mobility scooter can take over the walk to the shop, or a visit to a friend. Once at the destination the rider can then dismount and walk around a store or a friend’s home on foot.
When used in this way a mobility vehicle actually promotes health and exercise by removing distance barriers and opening up travel options. Using a scooter in this way actually increases the amount of time a mobility restricted person spends outside their home and encourages them to spend more time outdoors.
For those with mobility restricting weight problems a scooter can remove the constraint of having to stay close to the home for fear of becoming out of breath or exhausted. A vehicle of this type makes getting around easy and worry free and it can always be parked up if the owner wants to take a walk or wonder around a shop on foot.
Modern mobility scooters can carry combined weights (i.e. the driver and any baggage) of up to 400 pounds (30 stone). Nearly all have baskets or baggage areas making them ideal for carrying shopping and the seats are padded and comfortable.
Mobility scooter versatility
Aside from the very obvious differences and advantages that mobility scooters have over wheelchairs, some of them can also be used on a road or public highway.
Legal regulations and restrictions differ around the world, but as an example, in the UK a class 3 mobility scooter can have a speed limit of up to 8 mph and, with a tax disk, can be used on public highways.
Because scooters are designed to be narrow and maneuverable they can fit between supermarket aisles and will pass through most doorways. This means that there are very few areas where a typical mobility scooter has access problems.
Scooters can climb up steep hills and their powerful electric engines enable them to keep up with fast moving pedestrians in an effortless manner.
Running a mobility scooter
Modern scooters are efficient and reliable to own, but like all vehicles they require an annual check to make sure that everything is working as it should.
Whenever possible they should be stored indoors when not in use, kept clean and free of mud and dirt, and battery charging recommendations should always be followed.