Just hours before I heard that Jimi Heselden, the owner of the company that makes Segway fell to his death in a Segway accident, I was chatting with one of my neighbors about the Segway tours in our neighborhood. His parents were visiting last weekend and one of the activities that participated in was a Segway tour of the Misissippi River.
My neighbor loved the tour and highly recommended it. The Segway has been a controversial vehicle since it launched in 2001. It's inventor Dean Kamen believed it would revolutionize personal transportation.
That hasn't happened. Until this week's tragic accident when Heselden fell to his death riding his Segway, it was President George W. Bush's famous Segway ride that most people remember.However, lots of people have minor crashes when they are learning to ride a Segway.
Heselden just bought the company early this year. At the time of his death, Heselden was testing an all-terrain version of the Segway. From the Christian Science Monitor,
Danley of Boston Gliders Segway Tours, insists that the message from Heselden’s death shouldn’t be that Segway’s are unsafe.
“We’ve had 41,000 people ride Segways around Boston and zero accidents,” he says.
He suggests that Heselden may have been careless by riding too close to the edge of a cliff. “If you stand in the middle of a storm with a lightning rod, you will get shocked.”
“Segways are extremely safe,” says Danley. “I commute to work on one. I’ve ridden one in 30 states.”