Updated: 26 Oct 2019

How do Mobility Scooter Controls Work?

Controls of a mobility scooter are slightly different from those of other vehicles like cars, bicycles, and motorbikes. Like cars, bikes also work at helping to move from one place to another. They make you feel a little more comfortable than others. However, before to start riding, you need to know the standard controls, their general layout, and consideration of how these controls are suitable for a specific type of need. Also, have a look at the aspects of mobility scooter controls that you need to know before buying it.

The number of controls, along with its design, position, and functions differ by:

  •     Scooter Make
  •     Scooter Model
  •     Class (2 or 3)


Trying Mobility Scooter Controls:

It is essential to try out different mobility scooter controls before choosing a scooter. Make sure you are familiar with all its functions and can reach everything. You must be able to ride safely and confidently without any discomfort. A retailer or sales assistant can suggest some suitable controls, including adjustment in seat and steering column. While you are making a purchase, consider the following:

  •     Your upper body strength and a range of movement
  •     Grip
  •     Coordination
  •     Vision
  •     Dexterity in fingers and hands

Retailers may even arrange adjustments you want, like making changes in the set-up of an accelerator lever if you’re going to use your left hand.


The Control Panel

  •     Are you able to see all the controls?
  •     Can you reach and use all controls with one hand or not?
  •     Do you know the names and functions of all the controls?
  •     Are colours helpful to see different controls?

Most mobility scooters have a set up to central control panel such that it makes controls visible to you. The layout of controls varies according to the class of bike and steering that it has.

If the handlebars are too wide, it may be difficult for you to reach all controls with your fingers, mainly if you possess a small hand span.

If your scooter has a small control panel, then it has close hand grips. Hence, you need not reach out far to turn the bike.

Many control panels have coloured lights and buttons, which makes the controls eye-catching, and even helps you remember which button is used for which specific function.


Class 2 Scooter Controls

Set of controls for a Class 2 Scooter are very basic as they are only for pavement purpose. The controls usually include:

  •     Key or on/off switch
  •     Horn
  •     Dial for controlling the speed

Some other Class 2 models may consist of features for safety purpose like:

  •     Lights
  •     Hazard lights
  •     Indicators

Class 3 Scooter Controls

This mobility scooter is for road use and thus makes safety a significant consideration. These scooters usually have:

  •     Indicators
  •     Lights
  •     Hazard lights
  •     Horn
  •     Reflectors
  •     Mirrors

Other models of Class 3 mobility scooter includes

  •     Hand brake
  •     Speedometer
  •     Additional speed display
  •     Digital information display

Controls that have most frequent use as a horn are on both sides on the control panel. This lets you use both hands.


What should you look for?

  •     Are you able to grip the handlebars?
  •     Can you grasp the steering with one or both hands?
  •     Are you able to turn the scooter without pain or strain in your arms, neck, or shoulder?
  •     While turning, are you able to reach and use the controls?
  •     Are you comfortable, safe, and confident when steering with obstacles?

It can be useful if you cannot stretch your arms far or also need some extra space when getting off and on the scooter. Always maintain a reasonable distance between you and the control panel in case of emergencies.


Things you need to think about:

  •     Check if the tiller is easy to adjust or as flexible as you want.
  •     If a scooter has a delta tiller, then you can adjust your hands closer. This positioning makes it easy for you to turn the bike if you have pain or stiffness in your arms and shoulders.
  •     T-shaped handlebars may let you feel natural, but if the controls are present on the handlebars, it could be difficult for you to use while turning the scooter on full lock.


Braking and stopping

  •     Are you able to release your hands from an accelerator?
  •     Can your hands reach the hand brakes?
  •     Can your hands squeeze hand brakes hard to make the scooter stop?

Class 2 scooters do not have brakes; hence, it is not useful for an emergency stop. This bike can only gradually slow down, so we advise that you refrain from using this on public roads.

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