Dish Network

Free Satellite TV!

American Diabetes Wholesale

$12 Off Orders $100 or More! Use Code: ADW12100

Monday, July 26, 2010

From Rascal Pertaining to Safety of Three Wheel Scooters - Two Recent Innovations That Make the Three Wheel Scooter As Safe as a Four Wheel Scooter


For Medical Professionals, Medical Equipment Dealers and Administrators of Government and Private Programs Who Authorize Mobility Scooter Purchases


3 Wheel Mobility Scooters provide independence and convenience to millions of people who have difficulty walking long distances. Since 3 wheel scooters were introduced in 1977, they have improved the quality of life for the elderly and people with disabilities who utilize them for indoor and outdoor transportation.  Because 3 wheel scooters can be accidentally tipped over sideways, more stable 4 wheel scooters were introduced in 1990. However, most scooter users prefer 3 wheel scooters over 4 wheel scooters because they are more maneuverable, more comfortable (more legroom) and easier to use (steer). In the past, stability was the only drawback in selecting a 3 wheel scooter over a 4 wheel scooter. Manufacturers, Dealers, Sales Consultants and Medical Professionals regularly warn new 3 wheel scooter users about the danger of sideways tipping. Some manufacturers have equipped their 3 wheel scooters with side anti-tip wheels to reduce sideways tipovers.  Despite warnings about accidental tipovers and the use of anti-tip side castors, thousands of people tip their 3 wheel scooters over each year.  A review of published articles analyzing data from the Consumer Products Safety Commission reveals an alarming trend of a three-fold increase in wheelchair related injuries and fatalities over a fifteen year period. Between 1986-1992, research of hospital emergency department admissions revealed an average of 36,599 wheelchair accidents causing serious injuries.
1  By 2003, the number of serious injuries increased to 102,300 according to data compiled by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS – a Division of CPSC). Tips and falls accounted for more than two-thirds of the incidents.
2  To determine how many serious injuries occur annually as a result of tipovers on electric scooters, an article analyzing data of manufacturer’s reports to the FDA of adverse incidents was reviewed. The proportion of incidents reported to the FDA related to the use of scooters was 52.8% compared to manual and powered wheelchairs 47.2%. Sideways tipping was the most common direction for scooters’ tipovers.
3  In the article that analyzed the 1986-1992 CPSC wheelchair-related injuries, the author noted that: “Presumably many accidents result in no injury, in injuries for which the affected person seeks no medical attention or in injuries for which the affected person seeks attention from his or her family physician or other health care worker. It is therefore likely that this study significantly underrepresents the incidence of accidents and injuries.”
4  If 52.8% of the 70,000 serious wheelchair-related injuries caused by tips or falls occurred on scooters in 2003, then as many as 36,960 of the serious injuries treated in hospital emergency departments in just one year can be attributed to scooter usage, with sideways tipping being the primary cause.


Recently, two new patent-pending stability technologies have been developed that make 3 wheel scooters just as stable as 4 wheel scooters. These breakthrough ideas provide both the superior maneuverability of a 3 wheel scooter and the stability of a 4 wheel scooter.  One technology introduced in 2008, actually turns a 3 wheel scooter into a 5 wheel scooter, with three steerable front wheels. The Quingo®, developed in the UK by Advanced Vehicle Concepts Limited, with a design to prevent accidental sideways tipovers, is now in use by thousands of scooter users in Europe.
The second technology was introduced by The Rascal Company in 2009. This
breakthrough technology is relatively simple and maintenance free.
Magnetically controlled swivel castor wheels are positioned on each side of the scooter’s steerable front wheel, slightly above the ground. If the 3 wheel scooter turns too fast, the outside swivel castor wheel touches down and instantly turns to follow the single front steerable wheel. During most turns, the 3 wheel scooter becomes a “4 wheel scooter”, but one that remains highly maneuverable.
According to The Rascal Company, over 2000 Rascal® BalanceTM scooters are in use by customers without a reported incident of sideways tipover. Test reports conducted by an independent test lab posted on the Rascal Balance website ( show the exact same stability ratings for the new Rascal Balance 3 wheeler compared to the Rascal full sized 4 wheel scooter.  The incidence of 3 wheel scooter sideways tipovers is believed to be so prevalent as
many as one of every two 3 wheel scooter users may have tipped over. Many users are embarrassed because they tipped over. Others do not want friends and loved ones to know they tipped because they fear losing their driving privileges, much like the use of an automobile. The cost of scooters is frequently covered by insurance companies or government programs under Medicare and Veterans benefits. Medical expenses to treat seriously injured scooter users and the rehabilitation necessary to return them to better health are also covered by the same programs. “Medical bills incurred in wheelchair-related falls, including rehabilitation are often between $25,000 - $75,000.”6 The cost savings for private insurers and government programs such as Medicare and Veterans Hospitals as the new stability technology for 3 wheel scooters is adopted will be significant - as much as $2.3 million to $7 million a year.  The inherent instability of 3 wheeled ATV’s and the serious injuries and fatalities they caused resulted in a government ban on new sales by the Consumer Products Safety Commission in 1988. Hopefully, as the community of Medical Professionals, Dealers, Sales Consultants and FederalHealth Care Programs embrace the cost-savings and safety of these new advanced stability technologies, they will no longer recommend or purchase 3 wheel scooters that lack 4 wheel stability.

1 Ummat S, Kirby RL. Nonfatal wheelchair-related accidents reported to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 1994;73:163-167
2 H Xiang, A-M Chany, and G A Smith. Wheelchair related injuries treated in US emergency departments. Inj Prev 2006; 12:8-11
3  Kirby RL, Ackroyd-Stolarz SA. Wheelchair safety—adverse reports to the United States Food and Drug Administration. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 1995 Jul-Aug;74(4):308-12
4  Ummat S, Kirby RL. Nonfatal wheelchair-related accidents reported to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 1994;73:163-167
5 E061810-02 Test Reports of Rascal Balance 3 Wheel and Rascal 4 Wheel Scooters, Ammer Consulting, June, 2010 - Attached
6  Gavin-Dreschnack D, Nelson A, Fitzgerald S, Harrow J, Sanchez-Anguiano A, Ahmed S, Powell-Cope G. Wheelchair-related falls: current evidence and directions for improved quality care. J Nurs Care Qual. 2005 Apr-Jun;20(2):119-27

This article was commissioned by The Rascal Company of Sewell, NJ. For more information or to set-up an interview, please contact the firm at