As people age, our mobile skills tend to deteriorate and it becomes harder to move around. This can be frustrating since you lose independence and the ability to move without any aid.
There are different kinds of aids you can use: wheelchairs, canes, crutches, and walkers. But the most advanced device is an electric mobility scooter.
Since only a few people know enough about it, we’ll guide you through this article. We'll provide you with enough information to learn about the device and how to use it.
What Is an Electric Scooter?
Electric scooters are also called electric mobility scooters, mobility scooters, or power-operated scooters. It’s a mobility aid like wheelchairs but is designed and constructed like motor scooters. They usually run on integrated batteries and need regular charging.
A mobility scooter has a seat, three to five wheels, a foot plate, tillers, and storage baskets. You won't need much strength but you'll need upper-body strength and power to be able to control the device.
Types of Electric Mobility Scooters
There are four types of electric scooters that differ depending on how you plan to use one for yourself.
This is ideal for indoor use since they’re usually smaller and lighter than four-wheeled ones. It has a smaller turning radius so you can navigate through small spaces while indoors. Although you can use it outdoors, there may be some limitations you need to consider.
This offers more stability since there are equal numbers of wheels on the front and back. A four-wheel scooter is an ideal option if you want a device you can use outdoors. It can also move over different terrains better, unlike three-wheeled ones.
Travel or Portable
Travel scooters are also called portable scooters or folding scooters. They’re more lightweight than most scooters and are foldable for easier transportation. You can bring one if you plan to travel somewhere far since you can easily fit them in your trunk.
These are scooters designed to carry and support up to 500 lbs of weight. This is ideal for heavier people who might exceed the max weight capacity of other types and models.
Important Features of an Electric Scooter
When looking for the right scooter, consider if it can provide and support your needs. This means it should have features that will make riding the scooter safe and convenient to use.
You can determine that with the following factors and features:
1. Range of Mobility
First, consider what features and specifications will contribute to the scooter’s mobility:
Speed: You need to be able to handle the speed of the scooter without any problem. If not, you should look for one that has a top speed that you’re comfortable with. Most scooters have speeds between 4 mph to 18 mph. If speed isn’t that important to you, consider a speed on the lower end of the spectrum.
Turning Radius: This is the circular turn the scooter will make. A smaller value allows easier turns and better control, especially in small spaces.
Drive Range: This is the distance you can travel using the scooter without a battery recharge. Most scooters can range from 10 miles to 50 miles.
Types of Terrain: Some scooters aren’t ideal for all kinds of terrain. Check if you can use it on various terrains, if not, there'll be limitations with its mobility.
You should be able to use the electric scooter comfortably. To determine that, check the following features:
- Seat Size and Adjustability: You should be comfortable when sitting down. This means that the width and height should be in ideal conditions and wouldn’t strain your body when using. Most scooters have 16 to 18 inches width with an adjustable height option.
- Weight Capacity: Check how much weight the scooter can support. Consider if it can withstand your weight and any other items you’ll put on the scooter. Although every model has different capacities, most can support 250 lbs up to 450 lbs.
- Portability: If you’d like to use a scooter when traveling, consider a portable or foldable one. This will allow you to carry it with you anywhere you go.
3. Quality and Safety
You should be safe while riding your scooter, especially when on the road. Look for these safety specs when choosing an electric scooter:
Braking Systems: Check if the scooter has an effective braking system. This can be mechanical disk brakes, electric regenerative hand braking, or hydraulic brakes.
Suspension: This will absorb potential impacts when going over uneven surfaces. This means that you can enjoy a safe and smooth ride. If you suffer from back problems, the suspension will help protect you from hurting them more.
Visibility Lights: These will help you see and be seen when riding. Scooters that prioritize safety feature bright lights at the front and back.
Last but not least, consider the price of the scooter. Make sure that you can afford it without sacrificing the quality of the device. Keep in mind that the price can vary depending on the brand, design, type, and special features.
How to Use Electric Scooters
To use an electric scooter, sit on the padded seat comfortably. If you have valuables to bring with you, put them in the storage first before sitting. After sitting, insert your key and start the scooter. Check the control panel to make sure that it’s charged and everything’s working fine.
Drive the scooter by pushing the forward lever. If you’re not used to using a scooter, start with a lower speed setting. Use the tillers or handlebars to maneuver the scooter. If you need to slow down and stop, release the forward or reverse level.
On the road, use the lights package of the scooter to ensure your safety and the people around you. Also, you should follow the same rules as drivers to avoid injuries and accidents. Licenses may even be required in some states.
There is also more professional training available on how to operate a scooter that you can try.
There are many benefits of using an electric scooter. Of course, both mobility and independence are at the top. If you’re new to this, you must learn about the basics first, which we have provided in this article.
If you want to start checking out some products, you can visit our massive electric scooter collection.