Hoverboards have come under increased scrutiny lately as reports of fires, explosions and other injuries have skyrocketed.
Celebrities have for the longest time been at the helm of trends, impacting public perception on some of the tech crazes we’ve come to see since the turn of the last century. “Hoverboards” (self-balancing two-wheeled boards) are bound to be on every kid’s Christmas wish list this year, but there are some serious safety concerns of which you need to be aware.
How Do Hoverboards Work?
These devices are fitted with two wheels and a sensor which allows a person to move from one point to another much like a Segway® but without the handle or gyroscope. These have exploded in popularity over the last couple of months, leading to a flurry or poorly manufactured devices hitting the nation in response to rising demand.
Why are Hoverboards Unsafe?
Hoverboards are intuitively unsafe due to the unnatural way people using them are supposed to lean in order to move forward. This throws off their center of gravity, making it that much easier for them to fall off the device at any given time. On top of that, manufacturers in many countries have been cutting corners with regard to the production of the lithium batteries that hold power, resulting in Hoverboards catching fire or even exploding during charging.
Most people who own and use Hoverboards range between 5 years old and 30. Children may not have well-developed spatial skills, making them more likely to fall off the devices. On top of that, many major cities around the world have either banned or impose heavy fines on people found riding these on city streets. Many property owners refuse passage to people riding these on their property due to their low safety profile.
Injuries sustained in hoverboard accidents range in severity, but they mostly involve head and body trauma. Sprained ankles, broken bones and concussions leading to brain injury and hemorrhages aren’t uncommon, and they keep rising as these devices become more popular. Riding in congested urban areas also poses a safety risk not only to the user, but also to pedestrians.
Battery failures can result in explosions or chemical fires, which can lead to serious burns and house fires.
Massive Safety Recalls
Before Christmas of 2016, the Consumer Product safety Commission (CPSC) began issuing warnings regarding certain battery packs and their risk of starting a fire or spontaneously combusting.
Since that time, over 520,000 hoverboards have been recalled, including nearly 14,000 which were recalled in November of 2017.
The recalls cover many hoverboard designs, including: Swagway, Razor, Airwalk, iMoto, Hype Roam, Wheeli, 2Wheelz, Back to the Future, Mobile Tech, Hover Shark, NWS, X Glider, X Rider, Salvage World, Dollar Mania, Tech Drift, iLive by Digital Products, Simplified Wireless, Go Wheels by Four Star Imports, iHoverspeed, and Drone Nerds.
Have you or someone you know been injured by a hoverboard? Poorly-designed hoverboards are currently being sold by major retailers across the country. If you’ve sustained a hoverboard-related injury, you may be able to recover money damages for your injuries under a product liability claim.
Discuss your legal options with a product liability law firm in your area, or call us 1-877-659-2580 for a free consultation.