Why hoverboards are sending people to the hospital

Hoverboards have become increasingly popular, but many people are unaware of how dangerous the self-balancing scooters can be. Florida hospitals have seen a spike in the number of adults and children in emergency rooms due to hoverboard injuries over the past holiday season.

Besides posing a fire hazard, the two-wheeled electric scooter also puts users at risk of slip and fall accidents. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported 70 emergency room visits caused by hoverboard falls and collisions in December 2015.

Parents, kids and celebrities alike have suffered serious injuries such as broken bones and concussions as a result of falling from hoverboards. South Florida congressman Carlos Curbelo and boxer Mike Tyson are among those who have been hurt. In a recent case reported on February 7, Florida police said an Orlando teen shot and killed a 13-year-old boy when he lost his balance while riding a hoverboard and holding a gun.

“While the fire hazard has generated significant attention, I do not want to downplay the fall hazard,” CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye said in a statement. “I am also concerned that there is no safety standard in place for hoverboards. Strong safety standards protect consumers.”

On February 18 the CPSC issued a letter to hoverboard manufacturers, importers and retailers, urging them to ensure they comply with newly released voluntary safety standards. Rather than attributing hoverboard injuries to “user inexperience or error,” Kaye said the agency is evaluating the product’s design for any hidden dangers that may cause falls to occur.

The CPSC also urged hoverboard users to use safety equipment like a helmet, knee pads and wrist guards to prevent slip and fall accidents. Kids and first-time riders should be supervised and treat the scooter like learning to roller skate or ride a bike.

It is important to note that determining fault can be more complicated than it might seem. If you were injured and you believe someone else is fully or partially to blame, contact Chalik & Chalik to learn more about your rights.