Are Mobility Scooters Allowed On The Road? Where Can You Drive?
Those who rely on mobility scooters know the frustration of riding them alongside pedestrians. You’re moving much faster than the average walker but not as quickly as passing traffic. So, you ask yourself: Are mobility scooters allowed on the road?
The answer is: SOMETIMES.
Some mobility scooters are allowed to travel on the road, but others are confined to the sidewalks.
Read on to learn more about mobility scooter regulations and if yours qualifies to drive on the road.
What Types of Mobility Scooters Are Allowed On The Road?
The laws regulating mobility scooter use on the road vary by city and state. Generally, most cities allow mobility scooters to drive on the road if they reach 8 miles per hour.
While no overarching law applies everywhere in the United States, mobility scooter road regulations limit road scooter use based on speed and features.
Some localities require your scooter to have a horn and rearview mirror before driving with other vehicles.
Other typical regulations require your scooter to have a maximum weight capacity of over 300 lbs or be less than 30 inches wide. You will also need to ensure that your scooter has basic safety features, such as a working horn and functional brakes.
Note that the average mobility scooters range 15 to 25 miles before running out of battery. Some models can go over 40 miles on a single charge.
How Do You Know If Your Mobility Scooter Qualifies For Road Use?
The easiest way to determine if your mobility scooter qualifies for on-road driving is to check with your local DMV.
You can find this information by searching your state DMV website or contacting your local DMV office directly.
Once you know your state’s regulations, you can determine if your mobility scooter is allowed on your local roads.
Your scooter must fulfill all state requirements to drive legally on the road.
Where On The Road Should Mobility Scooters Drive?
Most jurisdictions that allow you to drive your mobility scooter on the road confine you to driving between automobile traffic and the pedestrian walkway.
Remember that mobility scooters are not allowed in bicycle or bus lanes. These areas are limited to bicycles and buses to avoid accidents and keep everyone safe.
Local Regulations for Mobility Scooters
Many areas that allow mobility scooters to drive along the side of the road will only allow this on certain types of streets.
For example, the laws may let you take your mobility scooter on a residential side street but not on a highway or other major roadway.
Private Regulations for Mobility Scooters
In addition to the local laws, you will also want to research the regulations in any private spaces where you take your mobility scooter.
Residential areas governed by homeowners associations, shopping centers, and other spaces may have their own rules about mobility scooter use within their borders.
The American Disability Association (ADA) requires that all rules governing mobility scooters be publicized.
Therefore, you should find information about the specific regulations of the locations you visit on their websites or posted on physical signs in the area.
How To Stay Safe While Driving A Mobility Scooter On The Road?
Stay safe while driving your mobility scooter on the road by maintaining your scooter’s safety features, following the law, and wearing bright or reflective accessories.
Learn how to drive your mobility scooter properly and safely in all situations.
Maintain The Safety Features Of Your Mobility Scooter
Always check that your mirrors, brakes, horn, and other safety features are working properly before taking your mobility scooter on the road.
Make sure the battery is in good condition. You can replace the battery of a mobility scooter if it doesn’t hold a charge properly.
It would be good to learn the beep codes of your mobility scooter in case of any problem.
Your mobility scooter may beep in unusual patterns if it has problems. Check your user manual for a beep code chart.
These features are necessary to avoid accidents, let other drivers know you are coming, and increase your visibility of the roadway.
Follow Local Laws And Regulations for Mobility Scooters
Always follow the local laws and regulations for driving your mobility scooter on the road.
These regulations are in place to keep you safe and avoid collisions with automobile drivers, bikers, and pedestrians.
Take care to remain in the roadways and areas where mobility scooters can drive. Try to stay as close to the pedestrian walkway as possible.
This will help you avoid getting into an accident with an automobile that did not see you coming.
Related: Are mobility scooters allowed in shops?
Wear Bright Or Reflective Accessories When Driving Your Mobility Scooter
Wear bright or reflective clothing or accessories when driving your scooter on the road, especially at night or in hard-to-see conditions.
Consider purchasing a reflective vest or a flag to attach to your scooter. These and other similar items will help automobile drivers see you and steer clear of your scooter.
Whether or not you can drive your mobility scooter on the road depends on local laws that vary significantly by city and state.
Check with your local DMV to learn more about the mobility scooter laws in your area.
Most areas that allow your scooter on the road will require your scooter to travel up to 8 mph and have specific safety features. Most regulations will also confine you to the area between automobiles and pedestrians.
Mobility scooters are pretty expensive, so you may also be interested in the article on how to get a free mobility scooter for seniors.