The Benefits and Pitfalls of Mobility Scooters


Mobility scooters are a way for people, especially the elderly, to get around when they can no longer walk more than short distances. As the Wikipedia entry on these devices describes, here, they are a cross between a wheelchair and a motor scooter. Underneath the seat, there are anywhere from three to five wheels that are maneuverable by the steering wheel. 

The seat of a mobility scooter can usually swivel to the side so that they are easier to get on. They also usually are powered by a battery and so need to be recharged by plugging them into an outlet. There are mobility scooters that use gas engines but those are in developing nations and are rapidly being replaced by battery-powered ones. 
A mobility scooter can move both backward and forward. They often include lights so that they can be operated during nighttime hours and have turn signals so that people can see when they are turning. There are both rear-wheel drive and forward-wheel drive models that offer different advantages. The front-wheel drive ones are better suited to being used indoors while the rear-wheel drive ones are designed to primarily be used in the outdoors. 

There are mobility scooter dealers across the world. Mobility scooters Rochester MN is a typical situation in which there are two providers of these transportation options. Just like cars these transportation devices are resold to other people who need them. Once a person can no longer make use of this device, they will sell it to somebody else who can. In order to use these devices, a person does still need to be able to hold an upright posture and have both the shoulder and hand strength to steer them. 

While mobility scooters offer a lot of advantages, they do have limitations. They need space to operate, even the front-wheel drive devices meant for indoors and have a pretty wide turning radius. They also don’t have much in the way of ground clearance, so they need a pretty empty space in which to operate. As they have a bit of a distance between the operator and the front of the device, they can also make it difficult to reach things in front of them like doorbells and shelves. 

Another issue is that they can harm or even kill other people which is why some people are calling for the regulation of mobility scooters. This article describes effort in the United Kingdom to regulate the use of these devices. One person was run down by a mobility scooter while on the sidewalk which resulted in multiple leg fractures. Unlike cars and motorcycles, other vehicles that can cause enormous damage, there is no mandatory liability insurance requirement to own and operate a mobility scooter. This leaves victims of these devices in the position of either covering their own medical injuries resulting from being run down by them or suing an elderly person which is both problematic from a moral standpoint and difficult as the elderly generally don’t have the resources to compensate a victim.