Mowing the lawn is the outdoor chore people seem to enjoy the least. Despite how unappealing the job may be, it is something that needs to be done on a regular basis. With the number of severe injuries associated with lawnmower accidents, it is no surprise there has been a greater interest in robotic mowers, which would take the dreaded activity out of people’s hands entirely.
Lawnmowers are dangerous machines, especially for something so frequently used by the average American. The rotating blade on a lawnmower can spin at 3,000 revolutions per minute. Contact with the blade often results in the amputation of fingers, toes and feet. When a young child loses a limb, it is most frequently associated with a lawnmower accident. One can also experience eye trauma from flying rocks and debris that come in contact with the blade, sending the projectile into the air as far away as 50 feet. Riding mowers are just as dangerous as they can either roll over onto someone, or pull someone on the ground into the blades.
A robotic lawnmower moves around your lawn much like an automatic vacuum does in your house. They run on batteries and are kept at a charging station. When the battery runs low, it returns to the base. It knows the perimeter of your lawn thanks to a low voltage wire and can be programmed to operate at specific times. Safety features include stopping the blades if the machine is lifted or turned over, turning around if it bumps into an item on the lawn, and being able to stop in less than a second if something gets too close to the blades. Right now these robotic lawnmowers cost around $2,000.
Until robotic lawnmowers become more affordable and accessible, it is up to the public to take as many precautions as possible to protect themselves and their children from a lawnmower accident. Some simple rules are:
- Never let young children outside with a lawnmower. Many times children will run up to a parent or sibling mowing the lawn who are unaware the child is nearby. Do not let children sit on a lawnmower or pretend to operate (or actually operate) a lawnmower under any circumstance. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests a child should be 12 years old before using a push mower and 16 before operating a riding mower.
- Do not pull the lawnmower backwards or mow in reverse. The excessive noise level of lawnmowers makes it impossible to hear someone yelling for the mower to stop until it is too late. Limited visibility for those on a riding mower makes backing up even more dangerous.
- Make sure you have an automatic shutoff. This security feature will stop a push mower from moving forward when the handle is released and will turn off a riding mower when no one is in the seat.
Hopefully with robotic mowers the risk of injury from a lawnmower accident will be almost non-existent. For now, there are an estimated quarter of a million people who seek treatment for an injury related to a lawnmower on an annual basis. If you or a family member has been injured in a lawnmower accident, you need an attorney who will be able to determine who is responsible and will work diligently to get the compensation you deserve. Do not hesitate to call the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., today.