Made popular about four years ago, the Hoverboard is a self-balancing rideable device similar to an electric scooter that is a lot of fun to cruise around on. You’ve probably seen a kid riding down the street on what looks like a sideways skateboard. These electronic devices have two electric motors, a battery, and an onboard computer that helps them maintain balance with a rider on board. The idea of the Hoverboard was made popular in the movie “Back to the Future” where Marty McFly hovers around on a skateboard that appears to be floating. The Hoverboard we see today is also known as a Self-Balancing Motorized Scooter.
Watching someone cruise by on a Hoverboard is an eye-catching experience. It looks as if the rider is standing still, yet they are moving. The Hoverboard is small and is no higher than the riders shoes making it hard for motorists to tell that the rider is moving. There are many risks here because motorists typically look for a pedestrian’s legs to be moving when walking. This could confuse a motorist and cause them to pull out in front of a Hoverboard rider. The risk increases because stopping quickly becomes challenging on a Hoverboard. To slow down, you have to lean back. If the rider of a Hoverboard leans back hard to slow down fast, the Hoverboard could shoot out from under them causing the rider to fall to the ground. Imagine this happening in the crosswalk of a busy street.
You often find young kids riding on Hoverboards which is risky because the motor skills and the ability to react quickly is not fully developed in children. Hoverboards can reach up to 13 MPH depending on the model.
Though the sale of Hoverboards slumped a bit after the news that they were catching fire while charging, the sales picked back up quite a bit for Christmas of 2018. You will likely start to see children on Hoverboards again in your neighborhood.
Tips to Stay Safe on a Hoverboard:
- Always be aware of your surroundings: Kids are using their Hoverboards to ride around town and through neighborhoods. The law states that self-propelled motorized rideable devices belong in the bicycle lane, but that is probably not the safest place for a Hoverboard. Riding a Hoverboard in a bicycle lane or on the sidewalk of a busy street is risky because at any time the rider could fall into street traffic. We recommend using your Hoverboard in a safe place away from traffic.
- Always Wear a Helmet: It is quite easy to fall off of a Hoverboard. Though it does a good job at keeping you balanced, you can fall. You can fall backwards which could result in a head injury when the back of your head hits a hard surface. Wearing a helmet will limit the potential of such an injury.
- Don’t Let Others Ride Your Hoverboard: If you talk to someone with a Hoverboard, chances are they will offer you to try it. Sharing is Caring but if you let someone ride your Hoverboard and they hurt themselves, you are opening yourself up to unnecessary risk.
- Don’t Over Charge Your Hoverboard: Hoverboards are mass produced in factories overseas. The quality control on these devices has been questionable and there have been multiple reports of fires due to overcharging of Hoverboards. This happens because the charging device overheats and causes a battery fire. This can be very dangerous especially if it happens overnight while your family is asleep. Find out how long your Hoverboard is supposed to take to charge and set a timer so you can unplug the charger at the end of the charge cycle.
Who is Liable in a Hoverboard Accident?
There are many differentiating factors when determining who is at fault in a Hoverboard accident. If you were involved in a Hoverboard related accident which resulted in an injury, we would like to hear your case. Whether you were hit by a car while riding your Hoverboard or believe your accident was caused by a malfunction of the Hoverboard itself, you may be able to receive compensation for medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering caused by the accident.
Curtis Legal Group has experience in cases involving rideable devices and alternative modes of transportation. Please call us today at 1(800) LAW-3080 to share the details of your Hoverboard related accident with us. We are here to help!