Mobility scooters are gradually becoming a part of the street scape in the United States.
People of varied ages and disabilities use the mobility scooters. This wheeled mobility aid is particularly popular to those who had to surrender their license to drive a car. For those who have limited mobility, the elderly and the disabled, mobility scooters are seen as a path towards maintaining independent mobility. Independence is essential for a person’s well being and health.
To ensure that mobility scooters are indeed a path to independence, not a liability, be guided with this checklist:
- Physical and Cognitive Assessment
Drivers of mobility scooters have to multi-task. Family members, health care professionals or would-be buyers of mobility scooters themselves have to assess their physical and mental readiness. The vision, hearing, reflexes, sitting balance, coordination, endurance, cognition, memory and judgment are crucial for the safe operation of mobility scooters.
- Mobility Goals
It is important to determine the mobility goals of the users of mobility scooters. Details about travel destinations, travel durations and travel purposes have to be clarified prior to purchasing the mobility scooters. If the user does not intend to go out much, then the mobility scooter is not the appropriate assistive technology. Mobility scooters are developed primarily for outdoor usage. So, if the user intends to go outdoors more often, the mobility scooter is the suitable tool.
- Driving Experience
Past driving experience plays a crucial role in maneuvering the mobility scooters. An experienced driver already knows how to read traffic, make spatial judgments, lookout for danger,foresee possible consequences, utilize peripheral vision efficiently and brake or reactswiftly when necessary.
- Laws and Regulations
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), private and public entities are required to allow those using assistive technologies like the mobility scooters into all areas of the establishment where members of the public are allowed to go. Some states and localities have their own laws and regulations about mobility scooters. Be sure to check these local laws and regulations.
- Equipment Safety Features
It is also essential to check the mobility scooters for these fundamental safety features: turn signals, headlights, rearview mirrors, pneumatic tires and anti-tip wheels.