Pride's Complete Guide to Mobile Chairs

A mobile chair, also known as a power chair, is a great product that can help aid in mobility. Those who have trouble walking may also have trouble using manual wheelchairs, so a mobile chair can help take some of the work out of it and allow those with mobility issues to retain some independence in the home. Mobile chairs can be used indoors and outdoors. Learn more about what is a mobile chair.

How Fast Can a Chair Go?

Speed can be an important factor for those who need to use a mobile chair. How fast do mobile chairs go? It’s important to remember that faster is not always better, even though many may want the fastest chair on the market. It’s important to consider how the chair is going to be used and whether it matches the lifestyle. Both outdoor and indoor use require different speeds, and environmental factors outside will also contribute to how quickly a chair can operate. The average power chair will have a speed up to 4 mph, which means that is the maximum speed that can be achieved depending on various factors. For example, outdoor terrain can affect speeds. When driven across flat and smooth surfaces, power chairs are more likely to reach their maximum speed. Batteries can also play a role. The chair should be equipped with the right batteries, and batteries should be fully charged to maintain speed. The right tire pressure is also important. Even if a wheelchair can move faster, it's recommended to use lower speeds in the home to better navigate through doorways and hallways.

Can a Power Wheelchair Get Wet?

Power chairs can go out outside, so a main question is whether mobile chairs can get wet. Water can affect the wheelchair, so it’s important to take the right action when you encounter water in mobile chairs to preserve the performance and life. If there is a bad storm outside with a lot of snow or rain, the best thing to do is find shelter until it passes. However, if you must go out, avoid large puddles. If you encounter water, dry the chair as soon as possible and allow it to sit in dry and warm places for about 12 hours so the unseen water can then evaporate. Once it fully dries, make sure to check the brakes and joystick before using again. If there are any issues, it should be taken to your provider. You can cover the controller with plastic bags to protect it, but it’s best to avoid water if possible.

Can Mobile Chairs Go on a Bus?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a public transit system needs to provide reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities and their assistive mobility devices. A power chair does qualify as an assistive device. While mobile chairs are allowed on buses, there are some guidelines that need to be followed. The power chair must be used to assist the mobility of the disabled passenger and it must have three or more wheels and be battery operated or manual. The dimensions can't exceed 30 inches wide and 48 inches high, so that it doesn’t block any aisle and interfere with the safety of others. In general, the total weight of the chair and the passenger can’t exceed 600 pounds, but if the wheelchair lift on the bus can physically accommodate the mobile chair and the user, then they are allowed. While transit personnel may recommend that a user transfer to a vehicle seat, he or she may decline.