Mobility scooters are electric mobility aids designed for people with restricted mobility. Essentially, they are an electric chair on wheels. Mobility scooters or “gophers” are a key mobility aid and are used to assist people with walking disabilities in getting around. Mobility scooters can be used both indoors and outdoors. There are a variety of options for mobility scooters.
When you first consider purchasing a mobility scooters, you should consider what you see yourself doing with your scooter. It always a good idea to make a list of all the activities you would like to perform in your home and in your community first. This will help you to decide which mobility scooter will work best for you.
One of the key differences in mobility scooters is the number of wheels. Wheels can have an impact on comfort, stability, safety, and ease of use. Mobility scooters typically come in either three or four-wheel variations.
The type of scooter should be chosen based on individual needs as each type has its own pros and cons. Scooter choice should be determined not only by physical ability of the person, but by considering the terrain and environment of where the scooter will be used. By far, four wheel scooters are the most popularly used.
Following is a list of advantages of using a four-wheel scooter over a three wheel one:
- Ease of Use
Due to their fourth wheel, four wheel scooters have been proven to be more stable than three wheel scooters. With only one front wheel, three wheel scooters have been known to tip when mounting curbs, tackling inclines or turning at speed. Having four wheels gives added stability across rough or uneven terrain. In contrast, three wheel scooters can turn in a tighter turning circle which is handy for small spaces and indoors. Therefore, while a three-wheel scooter is fine for indoor use such as houses, hallways, retirement facilities and supermarket aisles, it can be difficult to navigate on uneven terrain. If the intention is to also have the scooter for a wide range of uses, a four wheel scooter is the better choice since it can be used in a number of outdoor settings.
The four wheel scooter is well designed for the rider’s maximum comfort while in use. Having an even number of wheels – two at the front and two at the back – means the scooter is able to absorb bumps more effectively, providing a stable and comfortable ride. In terms of leg room, the mudguards extend across the two front wheels and often offer an option for placing one’s feet, allowing for a comfortable and natural seating position. Mobility scooters are an aid that many rely heavily on for daily use –it is therefore essential to ensure that the person using the scooter is as comfortable as possible while also carrying out its intended use.
Four-wheel scooters provide better safety. As mentioned previously, the four-wheel scooter is much more stable than the three wheels one. Therefore, since it is less likely to tip over, it is thus safer than the three wheel scooter. Additionally, in a four wheel scooter, the weight is distributed more evenly. This assists with wear and tear of the scooter and helps to keeps it in better working condition for a longer time than three wheel scooters. Also, four wheel scooters have a wider, sturdier and broader wheelbase. Overall, if weight capacity is a major factor playing into your choice of scooter, then a four wheeled option is the better choice.
Ease of use
A mobility scooter can be used in conjunction with other forms of transport, such as the train. Whilst a three wheel scooter can be used, having a stable four wheel scooter will enable you to navigate platforms and ramps much more safely. Due to their stability, four wheel scooters can easily accommodate additional features such as oxygen carriers.
While the three-wheel scooter does present a few advantages over the four-wheel scooter, such as maneuverability due to its sharper turning radius, overwhelmingly most specialists will recommend that their clients use a four-wheel scooter. Overall, the four-wheel scooter is the sturdier, safer option that offers more variety and versatility in its specifications. If the scooter is being used in a number of different environments, the smarter choice is the four-wheel option in order to account for all possibilities.