The Most Common Hoverboard Injuries

Hoverboards got their name from how they feel. If you can ride one without breaking your neck (we'll talk about that in a minute) you are likely to feel like you're gliding above the floor a few inches high. People also stole the name from Back to the Future where they had actual hovering boards (well, they looked like actual hovering boards).

But these things don't really hover. They roll...powerfully. Standing on a rolling log sounds like a guaranteed way to end up on your butt, but some folks do ride them successfully and look pretty amazing while they're doing it.

We can't all be that cool, however. Here are 4 dangers of riding hoverboards.

1
Spontaneous Combustion

burned hoverboard
Courtesy of the CPSC

The most dramatic danger of hoverboards is their tendency to burst into flames or even to explode. They've caused fires and burns.

As of the end of 2015, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) hadn't figured out what was causing hoverboards to spontaneously combust. It has to do with the batteries, but that's all they had at the time.

Until there's new information, one of the suggestions of the CPSC is to charge the hoverboard in a place where a fire cannot be started. The CPSC also suggests charging the hoverboard in a place where you can watch it. Presumably, this is in case it starts a fire, you'll be able to put it out quickly.

One issue with being in the same room while it charges is its tendency to explode. Some folks have been injured from flying debris when the hoverbomb blows up.

Charge it somewhere that it won't cause a fire and you won't lose an eye in the explosion. And, don't charge it right after it has been used (when it's still hot) or charge it and put it back in the packaging (such as for a gift) because it will still be hot.

2
Concussions

Side View Of Boy On Self-Balancing Board At Park
Josef H_fler / EyeEm / Getty Images

Concussions are just one form of head injury and falling off a hoverboard doesn't discriminate between different types of head injury. However, a concussion is one of the worst-case scenarios.

The CPSC suggestion: wear a helmet. Just like bikes and skateboards, some folks really don't like to wear safety gear. Get over it. It's better to look a little goofy than to forget where you live several times a day.

3
Spinal Injuries

Still life of a plastic neck brace
Thinkstock / Getty Images

Nothing like driving that thing right out from under your feet and cracking the back of your head on the coffee table. Your head is like a perfect lever to twist and pull your neck. Hitting your head on the way down is the quickest way to break your neck.

Modern medical treatment doesn't yet have a way to fix complete spinal cord separation. It's not that nerves can't repair themselves. It's kind of like splicing a giant telephone cable back together without being able to know which wires to connect.

Unfortunately, a helmet won't fix this problem and you can't run around wearing a cervical collar prophylactically. The best prevention for a cervical spine injury is not to ride a hoverboard in the first place. Either that or get really good at it so you'll never fall.

4
Broken Bones

Close up of a bandage on a broken arm held up by a handkerchief
Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia / Getty Images

Nobody likes to slam your head on the ground (see slide #2). One way to avoid that is to put your hand down to break your fall. Of course, break your fall is exactly what you might do.

Wrist fractures are the most common significant skateboard injuries and I predict they will be the most common hoverboard injuries, too. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of minor bumps and bruises, but those don't get reported like a broken bone does.

5
Bumps and Bruises

Bruised and scraped knees
Arianna Palazzi / Getty Images

Finally, there are going to be bumps, bruises, and scrapes. There might even be stitches in your future if you insist on riding a hoverboard--especially if you're old enough to buy alcohol legally (which, by the way, increases the potential for "hold my beer" to proceed any hoverboard injury).