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Types of Wheelchairs
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Scooter vs Wheelchair Power

What is a Scooter?

A scooter is a wheeled cart or personal mobility vehicle (PMV) with an electric motor designed to make mobility easier for a sick or disabled person.

What is a Wheelchair?

A wheelchair is a chair mounted on large wheels. It is designed to make mobility easier for a sick or disabled person.

Wheelchair vs. Scooter

When deciding whether to buy a scooter or power wheelchair, some factors to consider are:

  • Control and maneuverability
    • Scooters
      • are steered with a tiller, functioning like a bicycle's handlebar
      • have rear and front wheel drive
    • Power Wheelchairs
      • are usually controlled with a programmable joystick
      • good maneuverability in small and tight spaces
  • Weight capacity
    • Scooters
      • the weight capacity of a rear wheel scooter is between 250 and 350 pounds
      • some models can carry up to 500 pounds
    • Power Wheelchairs
      • weight capacity varies
      • also provides a larger variety of seating options and postural support
  • Speed
    • Scooters
      • usual speed settings are 1 to 5 miles per hour
      • speeds are controlled by a control knob
    • Power Wheelchairs
      • settings are 1 to 5+ miles per hour
      • speeds are controlled by a control knob
  • Power
    • Scooters
      • front wheel drive scooters usually have a single 12 volt battery capable of traveling 5 – 10 miles before recharging.
      • rear-wheel drives have 2-12 volt battery capable of 15 – 20 miles before recharging.
    • Power Wheelchairs
      • are equipped with 12 volt batteries capable of going 15 to 20 miles on a full charge over level terrain.
  • User safety
    • Scooters
      • are less safe for use as a seat in a motor vehicle
      • more difficult to tie down
    • Power Wheelchairs
      • safer for use as a seat in a motor vehicle
      • are easier to tie down
  • Durability
    • Scooters
      • can be broken down into parts and stored in a car trunk or back seat.
    • Power Wheelchairs
      • can't be broken down
      • too heavy to be lifted easily
  • Price
    • Scooters
      • less expensive than power wheelchairs
      • addition of features may increase the price
    • Power Wheelchairs

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