It once might have been that mobility scooters were considered to be the reserve of the elderly. In recent years, that’s all changing.
Now, mobility scooters are often picked as the transport option of choice for younger people with mobility difficulties, many of which are in their 50s, 40s, 30s and even 20s.
What’s making mobility scooters popular with younger people?
An increasing number of younger people are choosing to invest in mobility scooters instead of wheelchairs. New technologies mean that scooters can last longer on one battery charge than they might have done previously, and they’re also more fashionable and more practical.
Pavement mobility scooters make it possible for a young parent to get out and about with their child, enjoying activities that might otherwise be out of reach, like visiting the local shopping centre or enjoying a day at the park. Meanwhile, certain heavy duty mobility scooters can be used on sand and make even a day at the beach an option for mums and dads that might otherwise be unable to enjoy it.
And it’s not just parents that are making use out of mobility scooters. They’re popular with a wide range of people that prefer them to traditional wheelchairs which need to be pushed or manually moved, or electric wheelchairs which are often not as functional for long-term use. In fact, an added benefit of heavy duty mobility scooters is that they can be used on the road – you can’t say that about a wheelchair!
What are current statistics showing?
A 2014 survey by the Research Institute for Consumer Affairs found that younger people are now the main users of mobility scooters. Of roughly 350,000 UK mobility scooters, 53% were under the age of 65.
Are manufacturers adapting to a younger market?
If you thought that pavement mobility scooters were styled with older people in mind, think again. There are now scooters on the market that come with connectivity for MP3 players and satellite navigation devices, for the most tech-savvy users. You can even use on-board USB ports to charge your gadgets.
And are there any downsides?
With an increasing number of younger mobility scooters, there’s certainly some concern about hostility from other people. These aren’t the fastest of vehicles, and the more people use mobility scooters the more slow moving vehicles there will be on our roads.
For now there are relatively few restrictions on the use of mobility scooters on the road – the scooters that are fast enough for road use don’t need to be taxed, for example, though are not allowed to be used in bus lanes or cycle lanes. In the future, it’s possible that additional laws could come into play to better control an ever-growing population of mobility scooter users.
Mobility Smart is an online retailer stocking a wide range of products including mobility scooters and accessories, making life easier for the elderly and disabled.