How Fast Can an Electric Wheelchair Go?
It’s quite a fair question for someone suffering from physical illness to wonder how fast their wheelchair is. Moreover, it may concern them as they will completely rely on it. After all, the thought of a wheelchair (even a powered one) conjures up images of agonizingly sluggish devices that won’t get you anywhere quickly. If speed is something you need, you want more.
The good news is that this post will cover speed selection. So you can get a power chair with some zip if you want one! A dizzying array of brands and models can cater to almost every taste and desire. Among these, many of them are built for speed.
We’ll analyze the speed problem and discuss when you prefer a quick chair and who might benefit from something that moves a little more slowly. All of this is due to the speed at which a motorized wheelchair travels. Let’s investigate!
General Speed of a Wheelchair
Let’s begin by addressing speed in a more general sense. First and foremost, there is no official standard in the United States. For example, most power chairs on the market today are designed to an informal measure of 4.5 to 5 miles per hour at the upper end.
If you’re feeling disappointed that you can “only” go 4.5 to 5 MPH, consider this: the average walking pace is between 1.5 to 2.5 MPH, so going 5 MPH in an electric wheelchair can feel pretty fast! Also, some electric wheelchairs can go considerably faster.
To determine how quickly motorized wheelchairs should move, the industry examined consumer demand and the purposes for which their goods were being used. Based on this information, it then created its products.
The Law’s Limit on Speed
State laws state that wheelchairs can travel up to the speed limit. In reality there are really three categories of electric wheelchairs:
- One with a top speed of 5mph or lower.
- One with a top speed of 5 to 9 mph.
- One with a top speed of 10+ mph.
This is how the industry groups wheelchair speeds. But keep in mind, the most significant factor affecting the speed level of these wheelchairs will be the rider’s weight.
Possibility of a Faster Wheelchair
Suppose you intend to use it primarily inside your home or occasionally for errands. In that case, your speed requirements wouldn’t necessitate a speed much faster than the unofficial benchmark (4.5 to 5 MPH).
However, if you occasionally enjoy going for rides outside, that top speed can start to seem slow.
The good news is that most major market players cater to people who desire more speed. There are many alternatives available with top rates between 5 and 9 mph, or even higher.
For some people, that’s considerably better and more flexible. You may switch to a low-speed setting indoors and open things up when you’re outside and ready to have some fun. Almost all these chairs offer some way of altering your power wheelchair speed selection.
If the information presented above is helpful but leaves you wondering. “How fast can an electric wheelchair go?” You’re in luck! Because a surprising number of power chairs are available with top speeds of 20 or even 30+ miles per hour. These chairs typically feature selectable controls so you can reduce the power and speed as necessary, just like their slower counterparts. Unfortunately, most chairs and scooters that move at these speeds are typically large, hulking devices, making them less and less appropriate for indoor usage.
However, even a speed enthusiast may occasionally wish to slow things down, and almost all of these seats and scooters include some way for you to do so.
Other Dimensions to Keep in Mind
The torque and size and power of the engine can provide some information, but they do not give the full picture.
The maximum speed that can be achieved with a particular machine depends on the user’s weight and the type of terrain the wheelchair will be used on.
For example, if the terrain is hilly, the actual speed may be lower than the advertised top speed. It is also important to consider the battery life and range of the wheelchair, as these can affect its usability. If the range is limited and the maximum speed is high, the battery may be exhausted quickly, requiring a longer wait for it to recharge before the wheelchair can be used again.
Overall, answering the question of how quickly a motorized wheelchair can go is more complex than it may initially seem.
Can a Wheelchair Go Fast?
Overall, it’s good to keep in mind as a rule of thumb that most wheelchairs can go up to 5 MPH. In most cases, that is plenty fast for the rider, and faster than the average walking pace. If you are looking for something faster, they do exist, but you may have to look into “mobility scooters” instead of electric wheelchairs. But of course, always follow posted speed limits and follow the rules of the road. Going faster might be dangerous for you and the riders around you.