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Purchasing a Mobility Scooter? Here Are Things To Think About

Aug 17, 2007
If you have just bought a mobility scooter (or are planning on buying one soon), there are a few things you should consider before venturing out and spending your money on one.

The first thing you should know is that there are often rules and laws regarding mobility scooters in each municipality. Check with your local authorities first about what the rules are. While most cities are very accommodating to scooters, you don't want to break the law! One law found in many jurisdictions that scooter owners may be surprised to discover is that if you ride a scooter you are considered a pedestrian... not a vehicle operator. As such, you'll need to stay off the roads as much as possible (unless, of course, the sidewalks are impassable). However, recent court cases have found that driving a scooter while impaired could lead to a fine under the motorized vehicles act in your state!

When you get a scooter, be sure to deck it out with reflectors, reflector tape, and a tall, bright orange flag. That will help motorists see you if you have to travel in the dark and are forced to travel on the road (if, for example, there are no sidewalks where you live). Put reflector tape across the back of the seat and the bottom of the scooter and consider a small flashing light like joggers wear. If possible, avoid being out late at night on your scooter if your scooter doesn't have headlights. Get a headlight mounted on your scooter easily if you want to travel after dark.

If you have a long way to travel, don't get stranded! Carry an extra battery or a solar powered charger with you. Batteries will wear out and if you have an extra one, you'll be okay!

If you travel in a climate that gets really hot or wet or snowy, consider getting a canopy to go over your scooter. This will keep the wet and the heat off of you. Don't forget to pack a bottle of ice water with you when you go out. You may not be doing vigorous walking, but you'll still need to stay hydrated...and it's easy to forget that when you're not putting one leg in front of the other.

Although it may be tempting to listen to music while you travel, avoid putting headphones in both ears. Between the music and your scooter's engine noise, you may not hear traffic at a crosswalk or other machinery (like those small city sidewalk cleaners) that may need to share the sidewalk with you.

Consider carrying a small, portable ramp to allow you to get into places that you might not normally be able to. Many cities and commercial buildings are becoming more and more scooter friendly but they are not all 100% compliant yet. A small ramp will make the difference between being able to go where you want and getting turned away.

Mobility scooters are a great way to gain back your independence if you've found that you cannot walk around as much as you used to. Use these tips to keep yourself safe and secure as you travel. Happy mobility!
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