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Exploding hover boards: Is your truck's cargo at risk?

The 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II promised us something that we're sure a lot of our Upper Marlboro readers were excited to see in 2015: hoverboards. Though many of the predictions made in the movie have yet to come true (sorry, Chicago Cubs), we did get our hoverboards, albeit not exactly in the design we were hoping for.

Present day hoverboards are more like a Segway that has no handles. Nonetheless, they were a highly sought after gift this holiday season. Unfortunately, as many consumers are learning, these devices are proving incredibly dangerous. If you've seen the videos or read reports, many hoverboard models are catching fire and even exploding due to improper handling of the devices' lithium batteries. But these products aren't just dangerous for consumers, they are dangerous to those who ship them as well.

Recently, the Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration released a safety alert regarding the transportation of hoverboards, warning the trucking industry and its workers of the possible risk of improperly transporting these devices. So far, 32 cargo containers have already been seized and identified as "improperly prepared for shipment ."

The danger for trucks drivers is obvious: even if one hoverboard catches fire or explodes, others could so follow. This could cause serious injury to the driver or cause the truck to crash, causing a serious or even catastrophic collision with other vehicles. The truck driver and others who were involved in the crash would then be owed compensation, though litigation in these cases could be complex to say the least.

Source: Trucking Info, "DOT Warns Shippers About Exploding Hoverboards," Dec. 28, 2015

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