Scootersman using scooter

Scooters are fun and sporty-looking, therefore highly marketable and a tempting mobility option. However, they are not a safe ride for everyone. It's important to find out whether you need a wheelchair or a scooter, before risking your safety. Talk with your doctor first, then try out a few models at a store. Scooters are usually at least partially covered by insurance because they are mobility devices, not recreation vehicles. You will need a prescription from your doctor.

Scooters are useful mobility devices for persons who are at least semi-ambulatory, such as those with varying degrees of multiple sclerosis, limited stamina, or a temporary disability, such as a broken ankle. One must be able to get on and off scooters independently and have enough trunk strength to sit upright, without any special supports.

Scooters allow people to do a great many things they couldn't do before—travel to work or vacation destinations, shop for groceries, visit museums, etc. Some people even use scooters inside their homes and offices. Scooters come in 3-wheel and 4-wheel versions, each with advantages and disadvantages. Some come apart easily to fit into a car trunk, while some do not disassemble.

A scooter must have rear-wheel drive to handle grass, gravel, carpeting, and rugged dirt paths. Most of the larger 3-wheel scooters are sufficient for rough terrain, though 4-wheelers are even more rugged. However, 4-wheeled scooters are larger and more costly; they don't fit onto small elevators or bus-lifts. They have weight capacities of up to 400-450 pounds.


Why Scooters Are Not for Everyone


Scooters may aggravate chronic lower back conditions because the seats are standard—not custom-made for specific heights or body types. Even if there are a variety of seats to choose from, they are all standardized, and very few have extra lumbar support.


The rider must lean forward toward the handlebars, which means they are not sitting up straight; that causes lower back strain.


Scooters tip over much easier than wheelchairs. A tip-over is dangerous for persons with osteoporosis, poor balance, or other health concerns.


Before purchasing a scooter off the Internet, learn about potential risks of 
Online Shopping on our Manufacturers page.


Comfort. Before buying, always test-drive on a sidewalk, not just on a showroom floor or parking lot to see how the ride feels over the bumps; also pay attention to seat comfort—if it's not great in the store, it'll really be uncomfortable after a couple hours.


Please click here for manufacturers of scooters. This will direct you to the Resources area of the Mobility Devices section.