Scooter Questions You Can't Ignore

Consumers may be sold on the benefits of a scooter, thanks in part to television commercials or word of mouth from friends, but they don't know much about the product itself.

For instance, a recent AARP study revealed that only 4.6 percent of current scooter users ride them only indoors. Another 37 percent ride them strictly outdoors, while 58 percent choose both venues. AARP also asked about hours: 14.8 percent use their scooters more than eight hours a day, 12.9 percent between four and eight hours, and 26.6 percent fall into the one to four hours a day category. The largest chunk of the audience — 37 percent — don't even fire up their scooter every day.

On the dark side, 32 percent of scooter owners have tipped over with it: 57 percent of those folks tipped once, 25 percent tipped twice, 11 percent tipped three times and 5.6 percent tipped greater than four times. Most found themselves on the ground thanks to surface unevenness (aka, flipped when they hit an incline), followed by turning at too fast a speed.

"So the most important question a buyer could ask is 'What is the stability factor of the vehicle?'" says DuWayne Kramer Jr., president of Burke, Inc. "Instead, they want to know if you have the red one in stock."

Avoid getting the wrong type of vehicle by asking the right questions:

1. What is your height and weight?

2. What activities do you like to do on a daily basis? "Playing with my grandkids" isn't enough detail, points out Cy Corgan, national sales director for retail mobility at Pride Mobility Products Corp. So, elaborate. Do you you like to teach family barbecue secrets on the backyard grill or whomp the youngsters at Scrabble at the kitchen table? Do you like to hang out at the casinos on the Boardwalk? If so, you might need more battery power.

3. How much time will you be on the vehicle?

  • More weekends or weekdays?

4. Will you transport the scooter on a regular basis?

  • Will you use it in a place of employment?
  • Will you vacation with it?
  • How will you transport it?
  • Do you have a lift or ramp for your van?

5. Do you need an oxygen holder?

6. What are the counter heights in your house? At the restaurants you frequent? The grocery store shelves?

7. What is the square footage in your bathroom and kitchen? If it's too tight, you might need a power chair more than a scooter.

About the Author

Award-winning journalist Julie Sturgeon of CEOEditor, Inc., is an online contributing writer for Mobility Management.