When the knee is broken, the demand for ambulation aid strikes. They are highly important to help one with walking difficulties walk around despite the injury. The most common mobility aids are crutches, traditional walkers, and the newer, more enhanced mobility scooters. These walking aids give mobility solution for those who need it.
Crutches can be used on any surface. However, it can be challenging for the users to move around with crutches especially on rough and uneven surfaces. But when it comes to concrete areas, they sure can let you move from one place to another. The same applies to traditional walkers, except that they have more limitations, especially on jagged platforms.
On the other hand, a mobility scooter is the most preferred mobility aid today. They are more advanced and have great features that crutches and traditional walkers cannot offer. This includes freedom to move upper extremities, mobility on uneven grounds and exceptional balance. They can also transport you far faster without the pang of pain in the shoulders and in the arms.
Ambulation aids are bought because of the main feature they offer: mobility. Can the knee scooter offer versatility in movement? Can it be used on roads?
Are Mobility Scooters Allowed on the Road?
Mobility scooters are made to help users walk and go to places they regularly go like to work or to the grocery store. You may use mobility scooters outdoors and on sidewalks, but not specifically on the road.
This is because mobility scooters are identified as class 3 vehicles. Vehicles in this class include a wheelchair, be it manual or electrical. Mobility aids in this class can only be used on pavements and sidewalks. Ask your local municipality for legal codes regarding usage of mobility devices on the road.
Fine-tuning Mobility Scooter Before Use on Road is Important. Why?
Mobility aids are designed with wheels for efficient steering. However, the wheel design will determine whether or not knee scooters can drive on road surfaces. Depending on the type of wheel, a knee scooter can either run well or poorly on road surfaces.
Most knee scooters have caster wheels, while some have air-filled tires. The exterior of the wheel will basically define which surface the knee scooter can run on best. Knee scooters with caster wheels can be used on roads, but this is not advisable. Hence, it is more advisable to only use them indoors and in some areas with a smoother surface.
If a knee scooter is made with air-filled tires with a robust exterior, then it can be driven off on the road and on patchy grounds. Having said this, though, the quality of the knee scooter must be also considered before you can actually bring the knee scooter on road.
For instance, a knee scooter with only three wheels cannot guarantee balance. Going over small objects can make wheels wobble and can cause stumbling and falling. Thus, it is not recommended for outdoor use. Four-wheeled mobility scooters can be used on road with extra precaution.
When taking a knee scooter on road, the braking system must be fully functional and must not have any issues. The road is a dangerous place where dangers come in uncertainty. Thus, having responsive brakes can help you control steering on downhill roads and terrains.
When using a scooter on the road, it is best to only use it in bright daylight. Using it in the evenings can be dangerous. Not only because you would have difficulty navigating the path, but also because other people might run into you even with mobility lights on.
More Tips for You
Always remember to constantly check features of your mobility scooter. Are the brakes responsive? Is the scooter easy to steer? Are the wheels in good condition? Do you had a history of falling on your scooter? If so, what was the situation? Asking yourself these questions may help you make the right decision whether to bring or not to bring knee scooter outdoors.
Here are some of the practical reminders you should not forget:
- Check the steering quality of knee scooter before using it outdoors
- Inspect braking system, and adjust it so that your hand can easily reach it
- Assess the wheels. If wheels are air-filled, make sure all wheels are fully filled. Make sure that wheels are screwed in properly and do not wobble
- Check handle column. Tighten the locking clamp on the handle column and make sure the column is not shaky
- Get your balance. Make sure scooter height is proportional to your body. The injured knee must have a comfortable 90-degree position on the knee rest. Handlebar must have the right height, be easy to reach and should not make you bend over
- Do not use knee scooter with only three wheels as they do not provide stability on pavements
- Wear comfortable footwear on your able-foot for balance
A mobility scooter can be used outdoors and on sidewalks but this should be done with extreme care. It is important to make sure scooter is in good condition and has been yours for some quite time with no issues.
If going on the road with the scooter is necessary, ask a family or a friend to drive you instead of relying on your mobility scooter as it is safer to do so. Besides, most mobility scooters are designed with a foldable feature so you can transport it with you.