In slightly more than 1% of the injuries, the skateboard itself was to blame for the accident, such as in the case of a wheel falling off.
The principal causes of accidents were: struck irregularity in riding surface, 32%; lost balance, 26%; slipped off board, 16%; other, such as being pushed, 13%, and board slipped out from under victim, 9%.
The report makes no formal recommendations on how to reduce skateboard hazards, but it does make clear that injuries would be reduced sharply if skateboards were kept off the streets and limited to controlled areas.
The latest monthly figures from the American Kennel Club show skyrocketing registrations for Doberman pinschers, prompting our old friend, Arthur Haggerty, proprietor of Captain Haggerty's School for Dogs in New York, to exclaim, "The Doberman pinscher is going to replace the German shepherd as the No. 2 breed behind the poodle this year! I'll guarantee that, though the AKC won't be releasing the figures until around April.
"A Doberman pinscher owner buys a Doberman, consciously or unconsciously, for protection," Captain Haggerty says. "In fact, it's a bit of a macho trip for some people. Then the owner gets panicky because people tell him the dog is going to turn on him. They'll ask me, 'Will the dog turn on me?' And I'll say, 'Not as long as you have him trained!' Basically that's true. But this should not be the first dog someone owns. Get a golden retriever, a German shepherd, almost anything else.
"Dobermans are extremely bright and pick up fast, but they're often hard to control. Asked to compare a Dobe with a shepherd, I say the Dobe will learn one-third faster but it will take three times longer to work off leash. He knows the stuff, but getting him to do it is something else. He can be too much dog, and buying one is like a little old lady driving a Porsche Turbo-carrera.
"Another peculiarity about the breed is that it is far more affectionate than other breeds. They're always coming up to be petted or to put their heads in your lap. If someone wants to get a Doberman, I recommend a female. There is virtually no trouble.
"Doberman owners will buy all sorts of badges and books about the breed," Haggerty goes on. "A shepherd owner is not as likely to buy a German shepherd belt buckle as a Doberman owner is to buy a Doberman belt buckle. My insights into Doberman owners made a bundle for a friend of mine who was going to come out with German shepherd and poodle car medallions. I told him, 'Go with the Doberman medallion first.' He sold the hell out of it."
ON THE ROAD