Specifically, mobility scooters have been manufactured for people who are handicapped with limited mobility due to a disability or aging process. Although a scooter is known as a motorized mobility device, the users are considered as pedestrians by law and supposed to follow the same rules as other pedestrians. In addition, despite not requiring a license to drive a scooter, getting a proper training to ride the scooter safely is very important.
Scooter or Wheelchair Requirement
Usually, the nature of your medical condition will determine whether a scooter or wheelchair is suitable for you. Most importantly, a mobility scooter is good for those who are able to walk short distances but has a condition that affects their general health, such as a heart condition or any other chronic illness. Further, you should have the strength to sit upright with less support from the head or torso and maintain balance while riding.
Practically, a mobility scooter is also not appropriate for those who need aid to get up from the bed to a chair. A mobility scooter is also considered to be cheaper than a powered wheelchair but take more space when turning and manoeuvering in small spaces. Taking this into consideration is very important if the scooter is being used indoors as this is a heavy machine and could be hazardous if the user has any doubt driving it safely.
Whether it is your first scooter or the medical condition has changed or improved, it is best to speak to your doctor or an occupational therapist before a scooter is purchased. They are the only people qualified to decide on the suitability of the scooter.
Eyesight and mobility restrictions are some of the assessments a doctor or an occupational therapist will make, to ensure you are eligible for operating a mobility scooter safely.
A clear eyesight is vital to drive a mobility scooter safely. The user should have a good vision to see and avoid any obstacles in their way. Although scooter accidents are seldom, it could be hazardous for both user and others in the vicinity. Those with any form of vision loss should have a discussion with a doctor and ensure that they are able to identify anything movable or stationary, clearly see depths and colors and judge the riding speed and other moving devices around you.
Always ensure you have the ability to drive a mobility scooter in various situations. Initially, you should be able to get in and out of the scooter safely. After getting in you should be able to sit upright without support and be able to maintain and shift your balance. You should also be able to use hand controls even when riding on rough ground. Most importantly, you should be able to get the scooter in and out of storage point.
Being focused on the speed, distance and riding are very important while operating a mobility scooter. A person should also be able to concentrate for a long period of time while driving and be able to respond instantly and take immediate action in the event of an emergency. This is an important point that has to be discussed with your medical advisor, especially if your health is likely to change with time, or if you are on medications that could affect your awareness.