Hoverboards: More “Back to the Emergency Room” Than “Back to the Future”

Hoverboards (also called mini segways) were one of 2015’s hottest Christmas gifts – both literally and figuratively. Social media is replete with videos of people falling off the trendy device, as well as a few reports about boards catching on fire. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been 22 reports of fires in at least 17 states, along with 70 reported injuries requiring emergency room treatment. The CPSC stated that the reports of injuries and fires keep coming in. CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye says rules and regulations need to be put in place for the device, and people need to be made aware of the danger involved with riding one. Hoverboards are not currently subject to any safety standards.

“While the fire hazard has generated significant attention, I do not want to downplay the fall hazard,” said Kaye in a statement. “CPSC has received dozens of reports of injuries from hospital ERs that we have contracts with and they continue to feed us real-time data. Some of these injuries have been serious, including concussions, fractures, contusions/abrasions, and internal organ injuries.”

Kaye announced that field testers with CPSC have taken possession of all the boards that have caught fire in order to investigate why they are catching fire.

More and more people are becoming aware of the danger involved with these devices. Amazon announced in a statement that they have pulled some hoverboards from their site amid the safety concerns. In addition, many major airlines have banned the motorized skateboards from on board planes, The New York Times reported. Kaye released a few safety tips for hoverboard owners:

Do not charge your hoverboard overnight or when you are not present. You want to be able to observe the board being charged.

Charge it and store it in an open, dry area away from combustibles.

Do not charge it directly after riding it, let the device cool for an hour or more.

Read the full CPSC Statement here: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/About-CPSC/Chairman/Kaye-Biography/Chairman-Kayes-Statements/Statements/Statement-from-the-US-CPSC-Chairman-Elliot-F-Kaye-on-the-safety-of-hoverboards/

If you have suffered personal injuries or property damage from hoverboards, please contact Ford & Diulio PC’s experienced personal injury attorneys at 714-384-5540 or email Brendan Ford at bford@forddiulio.com.