Hoverboards Spark Safety Concerns

Hoverboards have become very popular among the pre-teen and teenage population, and have been given as many holiday gifts this year.  However, safety concerns have arisen concerning hoverboards, which require the user to balance as the board moves at a rate of over ten miles per hour. In many instances, users fail to wear helmets. With the rate of how quickly the hoverboards can move, this can create a dangerous situation for the user. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 29 emergency room visits related to hoverboard use were reported since August 2015.

According to Consumerreports.org, one recent tragic incident concerned a child from Long Island who tried out a friend’s hoverboard without wearing a helmet.  When he turned on the device, he lost control as it shot out from beneath him, causing subdural hematoma, and a long recovery process as his brain healed. In another recent New York case, a Chappaqua home was damaged after an electrical malfunction caused a Swagway Smart Balancing Electric Skateboard Black hoverboard to catch fire. There have been other similar reports nationwide and around the world.

Due to reports of the devices causing fires, Amazon has removed most of the hoverboards models from the website and Overstock.com no longer sells them. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is currently investigating 11 incidents concerning fires started by the devices. Several complaints reported that the devices lit on fire while they were charging.  In other instances, the fires reportedly ignited while the devices were in use.

In addition, passers-by may also be injured by fast-moving hoverboard users who may be unable to properly maneuver or stop the device.  In light of safety concerns, it is illegal to use hoverboards on public streets in New York City and in many malls and airports.  A New York City Police Department spokesperson has commented that the hoverboards are considered motor vehicles that cannot be registered.

Hoverboards also pose a threat to the public because they are largely unregulated.  The products are not name-brand and are usually purchased from China by small companies and then sold in the United States.

If you purchased a hoverboard for your child this holiday season, make sure your child only operates the device while supervised and wearing a helmet and other safety gear such as wrist guards and knee pads.  While operating the hoverboard, exercise caution and do not text or talk on the phone.  Additionally, do not leave a charging device unattended.

If you or your child has suffered injury due to hoverboard use, you may be entitled to compensation.  Contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and remedies.  The Law Offices of Levine & Slavit represent clients in personal injury and defective products cases and will fight for your right to compensation.  Contact (888) LAW-8088 for a consultation today.

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