Every holiday season brings out another new fad to sweep the nation, and this year is no different: the hoverboards are here! However, many are wondering just how safe are these new hoverboards—and the short answer is, it’s not safe at all.
While they do seem cool in theory, these hoverboards are actually less hover and more board. More technically, it is a two-wheel, self-balancing mini scooter.
To everyone’s eternal consternation, today’s technology has not yet reached the point where we can replicate the ride that Michael J. Fox experienced in Back to the Future.
Initially, the concern was people would fall off of hoverboards and be seriously hurt. However, that instinctual fear has fallen by the wayside as it has been replaced with a much more real and unpredictable problem–hoverboards are catching on fire.
Overstock.com and Amazon.com have become the first major retailers to ban sales of hoverboards due to “safety concerns,” as reports continue to come in alleging that the self-balancing electronic scooters are spontaneously bursting into flames.
The fires appear to be initially sparked by the hoverboard’s lithium-ion batteries, which had caused similar problems a decade ago with early mobile phones and laptop computers.
Since October 2015, nearly 90% of all hoverboards imported into Britain have been seized due to the risk of catching on fire. Most of the seized boards were bought online to then be resold online, officials said. They said the boards could overheat if left plugged in after the batteries are fully recharged due to the lack of a fuse. Furthermore, safety officials warn that this holiday season has seen an increase in the number of hoverboards out in the market.
Before you make any last-minute purchases, you should stop and reconsider picking up a hoverboard. If you do decide to purchase—or already own—one, it is recommended that you do research and seriously examine where the product has come from, as well as which company made its parts, including the battery and chargers.
Finally, if you or your family experiences any issues or incur any injuries due to the hoverboards, please seek experienced legal counsel immediately.