Any time the world comes up with something new and exciting, there’s something wrong with it. Right? We heard the same thing when the first cars pushed the horses off the road. But maybe, even if we don’t want to hear it, there might be some underlying truth behind it all. Here are a few things to watch out for while hoverboarding to work or school tomorrow.
As of February, 2016, there have been reports of 52 different hoverboards catching fire. Most of them seem to be from charging their lithium ion batteries, catching entire homes on fire. One has even been reported catching fire just leaning against a kiosk in a mall. While charging is the most common culprit, there are still some questions about why and how these unsafe hoverboards are catching fire. So far, we have yet to see any forest fires caused by unsafe cross country hoverboarding.
This should be a familiar problem since it is an old one from the skateboard days. Just because it hovers above the ground doesn’t mean you can’t fall off and hit the ground. If you ride one (or anything), learn to say ouch every now and then. The numbers of emergency room visits from people falling off their unsafe hoverboards are growing as fast as people are buying them.
In the UK, a hoverboarder was struck and killed by a bus when he hovered into the street. Two things about this incident: first, the UK and several other cities and communities have outlawed hoverboards in the streets lumping hoverboarders in with pedestrians, and second, the hoverboard was like the one pictured above. It was more of a self-balancing hoverboard than an actual floating hoverboard. Still, both are being reffered to by the same name.
Many hoverboard manufacturers state their product should not be used by anyone under the age of 13. The same recommendation applies to those who are pregnant and senior citizens. Before we cry age discrimination, there are things to consider here. Under thirteen mainly applies to those who may be too small to control the hoverboard making it unsafe for them to use it. For senior citizens, we can’t get on the football field and crunch with the other senior citizens like we used to as now things break too easily — meaning us! Finally, those who are pregnant are probably getting used to hearing that almost everything is unsafe in this litigious world. At least reading this article is safe for those who are pregnant. (I hope)
There is another factor in the younger age that can also affect those who are older and that is weight. Hoverboards have sensors that detect your weight. Most hoverboards can not detect lighter children and adults. If you are seriously considering purchasing a hoverboard for yourself or your loved one, check with the manufacturer to see their minimum weight limit. It would be a shame to get one and it won’t even recognize the fact you are standing on it.
In closing, be aware of any new dangers that might be out there. But, then again, don’t let fear stop you from exploring what you might be able to do. Either way, make an informed decision for yourself. Remember, it took an optimist to build the airplane. But, it also took a pessimist to build the parachute.