Millions of people visit amusement parks each year. According to a survey put out by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, there were over 1,000 amusement park-related injuries in 2014. This survey only examined fixed rides in parks like Six Flags and Disney, and does not include figures for rides in county fairs, travelling carnivals, and temporary parks. A 2013 study by The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that head and neck injuries account for 28% of total injuries among children and adolescents.With visitors in those numbers, measures must be taken to ensure the safety of all riders.
Some accidents are a result of faulty construction or broken machinery but a large number of tragic accidents could also be prevented. Any rider who is not paying attention to or following instructions could become a danger to themselves and other riders. Likewise, ride operators have the responsibility of ensuring that all riders are safely secured on the ride and are following all necessary safety procedures themselves. Here are a few of the most dangerous types of amusement park rides and attractions.
The IAAPA counted 383 roller coaster injuries in 2014, a decrease from the previous year. Racing along tracks at speeds sometimes as much as 80 mph, if something goes wrong, if a harness breaks or a rider is somehow dislodged, there can be fatal consequences.
Each summer, millions of people flock to the water parks. They are a fun way to cool down. This year, however, water slides have been in the national spotlight following the grisly death of a 10-year-old at the “World’s Tallest Water Slide” in Kansas City. Although water slides remain a popular attraction, park visitors need to be aware that such elaborate structures will always an element of unpredictability. An engineer told USA Today that it is “virtually impossible to test new water slides for all possible weather and wind conditions.” Water slides can be very dangerous as a rider can go over the edge of the slide or become stuck somewhere along the slide.
Mobile rides are defined as rides that get built up and taken down for traveling carnivals, county fairs, and temporary amusement parks. Unlike fixed-rides that are regulated by state and local agencies, mobile rides are regulated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which sets voluntary safety standards without any inspections. Because of this, mobile rides can pose a number of safety hazards, including many instances of falling debris. Injuries are not limited only to riders being ejected from the rides. Bolts, hardware and other machinery can come loose from the rides and fly through the air, potentially causing serious injury not only to the riders but also to the crowds below.
One of the most overlooked amusement ride dangers are found among the small rides in local arcades, malls, and restaurants. The study conducted by the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that mall rides account for a surprisingly high number of head and neck injuries, including concussions and closed head injuries. Many of these smaller rides do not have safety harnesses and are positioned on hard surfaces that heighten the chance of injury if a child falls off of them.
A day at the amusement park, or a moment on a carnival ride should be an unforgettable experience, but not because of a tragic accident. If you or a loved one has been hurt while at an amusement park, contact us today. We will do all we can to make sure you get the compensation you need for an accident that should never have happened.