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Speed and Distance Considerations for Mobility Scooters and Power Chairs

A wide variety of people needs mobility scooters or power chairs to assist them in their everyday life. They can range from non-ambulatory elderly folks who need a caregiver to help them constantly to those with hidden disabilities who only need occasional assistance for outings or shopping trips. Knowing the intended rider and his or her particular needs can help when purchasing a scooter or electric wheelchair. Besides comfort and style, consider the top achievable speed and performance capabilities.

Slow and Steady Perfect for Elders

For individuals who can still pilot their own mobility chair and those who are propelled by a family member, caregiver, or nurse, slower chairs with wider turning radiuses provide more stability. The elderly or infirm may not have the core muscle strength to maintain proper posture if their chair goes too fast.

Smaller chairs that are easier to store, maneuver through homes or assisted living facilities, and fold up to take on outings have slower speeds and a shorter range. For example, the V19P model only reaches speeds of 3.75 miles per hour and the battery only holds enough charge to run for nine miles total. This makes these power chairs excellent for short trips and everyday use, but it will not be sufficient for other uses.

Increased Speed and Distances

The electric motorized models used by people to get to locations as well as maneuver around them are closer to mobility scooters than wheelchairs. These, such as the V16 or the VPS7, can go up to six or 12 miles per hour respectively and have battery lives that last between 20 and 35 miles before they need to be recharged.

It is easy to see that these more powerful options may not work for people who have extensive mobility issues and lack the strength to control them. Instead, these make excellent options for people who cannot walk long distances anymore or those who want to get to the local shops but cannot drive.

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