Hoverboards Linked to Injuries
They may look futuristic, but the hoverboards you have been seeing riding around town are causing some very old-fashioned injuries to owners in the form of broken bones and house fires. The dangers associated with the devices have led to them being outright banned in New York City, pulled off retailers’ shelves, and caused the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to caution riders.
If you haven’t yet seen one in action, hoverboards don’t actually hover—they’re motorized, two-wheeled, self-balancing scooters that look almost like a horizontal skateboard. Riders propel and steer the board with its footpads, using shifts in their bodyweight: leaning forward causes the board to accelerate forward, and leaning to one side or the other will cause the board’s path to curve. The boards can travel at up to 15 miles per hour.
While hoverboards are touted by manufacturers as being intuitive and very easy even for beginners to use, a rash of injured riders would say otherwise. One hospital emergency room reported seeing seven hoverboard-related fractures within a day and a half. The CPSC announced that it has received 70 reports of hoverboard-related injuries resulting in a visit to the emergency room, which would not account for surely hundreds more that did not require urgent medical attention. Injuries from hoverboard collisions and falls often result from the victim putting their hands out to catch themselves when they fall off the board. This can result in hand and wrist injuries, but often the impact travels up through the arm, affecting other areas.
One woman shattered her elbow when falling off her daughter’s hoverboard, and others have reported neck and shoulder injuries which resulted from a fall. A Florida congressman tweeted a photo of himself with his arm in a sling after falling off his nephew’s hoverboard. Even one professional athlete, a baseball player named Dan Uggla, received minor injuries when he fell off his new hoverboard. Many users have felt that the manufacturers did not provide sufficient warning of the difficulty of riding these devices, nor instructions to use appropriate safety gear while riding them. Hoverboard owners are encouraged to treat the devices like anything else they might ride, and wear safety equipment such as a helmet, wrist guards, or knee pads while riding.
If you’ve been injured while riding on a hoverboard, ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries by contacting the experienced Charlottesville personal injury attorneys at Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz for a consultation at 434-977-7977.