William W. Hurst
Law Office of William W. Hurst, LLC
50 S. Meridian St., Suite 600, Indianapolis, IN 46204
If you are a parent it’s likely that your children asked you for a hoverboard this Christmas. While I am not entirely sure why they are called hoverboards considering the fact that they do not hover, I do realize that they look like a ton of fun. It’s like a segway without handles, you can move around by simply applying pressure to different parts of the board with your feet. But that also seems to be incredibly dangerous to me. So are Hoverboards Dangerous? The answer is YES! Not only are these crazy little machines dependent on the pressure your feet apply to the board, making them incredibly susceptible to “jumping” in one direction, they also catch on fire due to the batteries contained inside them.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission announcement on January 20, 2016 verified that the CPSC is investigating both what is causing the fires and why so many falls are occurring. The announcement also asks retailers to begin allowing returns in order to keep more injuries from occurring.
Specifically CPSC is looking into whether the batteries are the root cause of the fires. This seems to be the most reasonable explanation for the spontaneous combustion as many believe the batteries are made from subpar lithium ion batteries.
CPSC is also looking into why so many falls are happening on these “hoverboards”. Their belief is maybe “the current designs of these products might not take fully into consideration the different weights of different users, potentially leading to the units speeding up or lurching in a manner that a user would not have reason to anticipate, especially a first-time user.”
But, whether these fun new toys are dangerous isn’t up for debate. According to a CNN report on Hoverboard related falls, the CSPC had received 22 reports of hoverboards bursting into flames and 70 total injury related reports due to hoverboards.
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