Personal electric vehicles, or “electric rideables,” are as fun as they are dangerous. Personal electric transporters come in a variety of compact designs and can go 5-15 mph, while going up to a distance of 20 miles with one charge. Some examples include electronic scooters and unicycles, electric skateboards and hover boards. While these machines are relatively cheap and better for the environment than a traditional vehicle, widespread reports of serious injury, fatal accidents and exploding batteries are alarming.
In particular, the hoverboard is of concern. The hoverboard is immensely popular but is under limited regulation, and it’s caused 26,000 emergency room visits in the last two years, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics.
Most injuries occur to young boys, and the most common electric rideable injuries involve bone fractures and severe contusions. Before you or a loved one hops on an electric hoverboard, skateboard, scooter, or unicycle, read the instruction manual and do a pre-trip inspection. These simple steps are often skipped, but they can keep you out of harm’s way.
Furthermore, wear safety gear like a helmet, avoid rides during bad weather, and only navigate flat land without any debris. In addition, remember that rideables require self-balancing, so practice in a safe place before you hit the streets, and always maintain a sensible pace when motoring through heavily-trafficked areas.
While electric rideables are tough to learn, with some practice, they become an extension of you and are a 21st century spin on the traditional bicycle. By remembering a few safety measures and riding defensively, you can have a great time and save money on gas while staying out of harm’s way.