We’ve all seen it: people moving while standing on two legs and without any support or means of changing direction. No, I’m not talking about an escalator or a walkalator, but something similar along these lines: the hoverboard. Yes it basically is a mode of transportation that allows people to balance themselves on a device that looks like a modified version of the skateboard and move to places. Much like the skateboard, using a hoverboard requires a certain amount of skill that is acquired over time. And it is not as easy as it looks (believe me, I’ve tried!). Once you master the skill, however, it is a fun way to move around town with the wind in your hair and not a worry in the world! While the intention is good, I still don’t think hoverboards should be out in the open owing to the negative publicity is has been gaining in the recent past. Instances of hoverboards getting into accidents or bursting into flames or even resulting in the death of people makes me wonder if it really is worth all the hype it is getting.
Sure you may argue that every mode of transport has its risks but is the risk really worth it? Yes other modes of transportation have their own issues but the issues are not so high that they are banned from roads or airlines or from entire cities. Skateboards did not face this issue but their advanced, electronic models are causing people to fall over and injure themselves, some seriously. ‘Hoverboard fails’ videos (see video below: OUCH!) are common now and it has become more of a joke than a serious mode of transportation. The high possibilities of using poor quality battery and re-labelling them as safe before selling really put yours or your kid’s life at risk. Retail giant Amazon has stopped selling hoverboards and has mailed its customers to dispose them safely because of rising safety concerns. I believe that problem is more about the battery and its risk to explode than about a person’s safety while riding it.
I am not saying that we need to ban the hoverboard. But there is an immediate need to have ‘hoverboard friendly’ areas where kids can have fun because kids who suddenly lose their balance while riding it have been dragged by buses on the main road and have sadly died. With incidents like this and instances of hoverboards catching fire, it is not enough if it is just a fun mode of transportation but it needs to be safe as well so that things don’t end tragically.