Hoverboards were going to be the next “big thing” and they started out that way until parents discovered the personal injury risk they cause. After their initial popularity as Christmas gifts in 2015, emergency rooms, specialists and urgent care centers were inundated with people who had experienced hoverboard injuries after falling off of one. One specialist at the Rothman Institute at Jefferson University Hospital described the situation as “…a hoverboard epidemic…can’t recall seeing anything like it.” The most common injury treated was fractures to hands, wrists, arms, knees and ankles. By the end of December, 2015 the government had recorded 70 injuries related to hoverboard accidents with many more happening shortly afterward. The injuries seem to be affecting people of all ages from kids to people in their 50s.
Hoverboards pose personal injury risk
Most fall injuries occurred when a person was trying out the hoverboard for the first time; using their hands to break a fall after losing their balance. One of the main reasons for so many falls is that the hoverboard may stop dead on even half an each of unevenness on the ground. The force required for the unit to stop so abruptly causes the individual to fall off the board.
In addition to the risk of falling, some hoverboards appear to have manufacturer defects that cause the unit to catch fire and explode. In July, 2016 the US Consumer Product Safety Commission had documented at least 60 incidents in the United States where a hoverboard’s lithium ion batteries had caught fire and caused more than $2 million in property damage. Some fires were so severe that they destroyed the house that they were in. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for the fires starting, with some igniting while the unit was charging, some while being ridden and some simply while the unit sat in its box.
Hoverboard safety tips
Use these hoverboard safety tips to stay safe on your hoverboard:
- Ride on smooth, even surfaces
- Wear a helmet, elbow and wrist pads
- Never ride without a spotter; the spotter should be prepared to help catch you or brace a fall
- Never ride distracted by a cell phone
- Ride slowly until you are confident in your abilities
- Stay away from traffic including pedestrians on sidewalks
- Follow street signs and traffic signals
If you were injured in a hoverboard accident you may wish to contact a personal injury lawyer. He or she will assess the particulars of your accident and let you know whether you have a case.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!