Monday, February 1, 2016

Is the Hype About Hoverboards Really Worth it?

Alexandra Buchler
Staff Writer

The latest and greatest gadget has skyrocketed in popularity over the past six months. Hoverboards were one of the hottest gifts this past holiday season and the star of countless viral videos. However, hoverboards and segways have been responsible for thousands of falls and resulting injuries.
 Hoverboards are at the center of a new California law effective on Jan. 1, 2016 that requires a rider to be at least 16, wear a helmet, and only ride on streets where the speed limit is under 35 mph.  
  The Segway, also known as a Hoverboard, can reach up to 12.5 mph, conveniently takes only one hour to charge, and provides two hours of enjoyable riding after a complete charge. The Segway does not have an engine, brakes, or a steering wheel. It accelerates and decelerates by responding to a person's shifting center of gravity and turns with a subtle body movement.
 Even though these seem like harmless, fun toys, they can actually lead to serious injury. The first time you step on one of these hoverboards, the jolting movement can easily cause you to fall down. The slightest amount of pressure applied to one side of the board will cause you to automatically spin, not to mention leaning forward can cause you to faceplant.
 Jim Heselden, a 62-year-old British businessman who bought the Segway company less than a year ago from American inventor Dean Kamen, apparently died after falling off 30-foot cliff while riding a rugged all-terrain Segway near the River Wharfe in Yorkshire, England.
 Even experts can get hurt while using hoverboard technology.
 Another case that led to serious injury when a teen from New York got Hoverboard for Christmas from his parents. Three days after receiving the gift, the teen thought he had mastered the board and took it outside. After 30 seconds on the road, he fell and broke his arm and leg.
 This potentially dangerous toy has become extremely popular for kids and teens, and is recommended for ages six and up.  
So, is all the hype about the latest craze really worth breaking your arm?

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