So, what is a mobility scooter and how do you choose the best mobility scooters for your needs? The design of it is for a specialized vehicle similar to an electric scooter or motor scooter in function and construction. However, additional power wheelchair type features and options make mobility scooters an excellent form of transportation for anyone who has reasonable arm strength and upper body balance but might need some occasional assistance to get around.
Mobility scooters are perfect for elderly people, and those who have progressive conditions that challenge their ability to walk but can appreciate and benefit from the aid and convenience of a mobility scooter. Most users of mobility scooters are usually able to walk to some degree, but have greater difficulty with slopes and over longer distances.
The idea of the mobility scooter was in the 1960's. Built in 1968 by a Mr. Alan Thieme in Bridgeport, Michigan the first scooter was a great success. Mr. Thieme created this front wheel drive scooter to assist a family member with multiple sclerosis regain some of their independent mobility.
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The best mobility scooters are like a simplified and smaller golf cart. The basic components are essentially the same and they have two rear wheels with a seat above them and a flat area upon which to put the feet. Under the seat is a power source, and it has a steering column with handlebars to steer either one or two front wheels.
You can also find gasoline powered mobility scooters but most are electric. The more popular electric mobility scooter runs with one or two batteries on board the scooter. If you need to overcome steep hills and slopes which will demand more power you will be better served with the two batteries version which will be able to deliver more power than one. These batteries are charged with a standard charger that connects to a typical electrical outlet.
The steering column is referred to as the tiller. The tiller gives control of the forward, reverse and speed using finger controls, a thumb paddle or a switch. Mobility scooters are available in front wheel drive or rear wheel drive and most front wheel drive mobility scooters will accommodate a rider up to around 250 lbs. They are also more convenient for indoor use due to their smaller size. The rear wheel drive mobility scooters can be used indoors and outdoors and will accommodate a weight of up to around 350 lbs. There are also heavy duty rear wheel drive mobility scooters, which differs from the regular rear wheel drive mobility scooters in that it can accommodate riders up to 500 lbs.
Mobility scooters usually have automatic braking so coasting is not possible. You must use the finger, thumb or switch style controls to be in command of all movement. You will need to press and release the controls gently to gradually increase and decrease speed. There is usually a control that will allow you set the maximum speed for the scooter as well.
A mobility scooter will not be difficult to operate and control as long as you have adequate upper body strength and control and the best mobility scooters will allow you to dismantle them down into their main parts quite easily which makes them convenient to pack into the trunk of a car for an outing with friends and family. Anyone with systemic or disabling body conditions that is still able to stand and walk a few steps, control the steering tiller and sit in an upright position without torso support will appreciate the assistance of a mobility scooter and the sense of independence it can provide.
It is human nature to want to get around independently and the modern mobility scooters help you achieve this goal.