This year, Christmas was full of cookies, candy, carols, and the sounds of hoverboard crashes in the background. Hoverboards, the new popular Christmas gift, have landed many in the emergency room since their spark in popularity. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there has been 70 reported ER visits since Monday afternoon. Many of the injuries have actually been parents who had fallen off their kids’ hoverboards on Christmas morning. The conundrum was trending all over social media as #hoverboardfail, with over 900 posts.
Some of the #fails include Florida congressman Carlos Curbelo who went to the ER and ended up with his arm in a sling. Professional baseball player Dan Uggla took a tumble that was posted on Instagram, and BCC North America Editor Jon Sopel tweeted that his son went to the hospital with a wrist injury from a hoverboard incident.
Many property owners have banned hoverboards for liability reasons. In New York State, they are currently classified as motorized vehicles that cannot be registered, and you can be fined for riding them in a public space. California lawmakers have proposed a new law effective January 1st that will require the boards to only be ridden in bike lanes and pathways, mandates that users must be 16 years of age or older, requires riders to wear the same gear required when riding a bike, and states they can only ride up to 15 miles per hour.
Some tips for hoverboard riding safety:
- Wear pads and a helmet. (This sounds like good advice. Just like bikes and skateboards.)
- Practice in a safe area. (Don’t go near traffic or pedestrians.)
- Read the safety manual.
- Adhere to age & weight recommendations.
- Make sure the board is turned on before you get on it.
- On your first try, ride it on level ground without sharp objects around.
- Put one foot on the board, lean it back & forth to see how it feels at first.
- Then, lean forward and put your other foot on the board
- Hold onto something to balance when starting out
- Use responsibly