If you have difficulty walking long distances, a mobility scooter can make a world of difference. But while a scooter offers a reliable means of getting around, there are a few things to take into consideration before heading out the door on one. Because the Barrier Free Store sells and rents a variety of electric scooters, we get asked plenty of questions about their operation and performance. One of the most common is: “Where can I drive a mobility scooter?” That’s a bit of a tricky question since it’s actually two questions in one. The first is, “Over what kind of surfaces can I drive a scooter?” And the other is, “Where am I allowed to drive a scooter?” Let’s answer each of those questions.
Mobility scooters come in many shapes and sizes. All of them are designed to provide a safe, comfortable, and reliable means of transportation over most surfaces. These include concrete, asphalt, gravel, tiles, and most other flooring types. Their wheels are designed to provide reliable traction over terrain that you would not normally associate with vehicular traffic, such as freshly waxed or wet floors in a supermarket aisle. The real question most first-time users want to know is whether or not they can take their scooter over grass and other unpaved surfaces. If you’re driving an off-road model, the answer is yes—within reason! Off-road scooters feature sturdier suspensions, enlarged tires, and higher ground clearance, so they should easily handle a trek across the park or down a well-worn footpath. Just don’t expect them to do what a four-wheel-drive ATV can do.
Although laws vary from state to state and community to community, the general rule is that mobility scooters can be driven down sidewalks and into buildings, but they are not allowed in the street or bike lanes. Some gated communities that have HOAs may also have regulations about where, specifically, a scooter can be driven, but generally, if a golf cart can be driven somewhere, so can a mobility scooter.
To learn more about purchasing or renting a mobility scooter in the Upper Peninsula, reach out to the Barrier Free Store today. We are northern Michigan’s aging-in-place specialists.