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Are Amusement Parks Safe?

There’s always that guy who is too afraid to join in on all the fun that roller coasters have to offer, but maybe he isn’t being an unreasonable killjoy after all. There are a surprising number of accidents related to an amusement park and carnival rides.

Roller Coaster injuries result from a variety of things including derailment, riders being struck on their head, and mechanical malfunctions. A study conducted for the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that in a period of 7 years there were between 2,800 and 4,300 carnival ride associated injuries that resulted in a trip to the emergency room. In addition to the number of injuries, the CPSC has recorded 55 deaths in 15 years due to similar accidents. Not surprising, mobile amusement parks or carnival rides are the most dangerous and unreliable for they are assembled and taken down multiple times throughout the year.

Serious injuries related to amusement park rides include:

  • Falls, or being thrown from rides.
  • Carotid artery dissection (CAD) and strokes can occur as a result of the vigorous jerking of riders’ necks.
  • Riders can suffer from traumatic brain injury due to the G-forces and stress imposed on veins in the brain.
  • Water rides pose the additional danger of drowning in wave pools.
  • Riders can get internal as well as external injuries.
  • Most common roller coaster ride injuries include the neck, back, and head injuries.
  • Riders can experience whiplash from roller coasters, as well as go-kart and bumper-car crashes.

Amusement Park Risks

As amusement parks age, there is an increased chance that there will be defective equipment, as lap bars, doors, or shoulder harnesses wear out. Additionally, workers can fail to perform safety checks, or become distracted from their duties. Water parks have an increased risk of injury. These injuries include drowning, inner tube suffocation, and slide injuries.

Safety Tips

We are not trying to ruin your fun, but there are some basic things you can do to increase your safety particularly at mobile amusement parks or carnivals …

  • If ride operators seem preoccupied and unconcerned with the safety of the riders, do not board the ride.
  • Before the ride begins, double-check your seatbelts and restraints.
  • Stay seated and keep your arms and legs in the ride at all times.
  • Keep hair (especially long hair) tied back with a hair tie or held back in a snug place to avoid getting caught or pulled.
  • Remove hats and glassed and store in a secure place.
  • Follow all rules about height and age.
  • Report anything you notice regarding the ride’s safety immediately.­

Ayres Cluster Law encourages you to spend quality time with your family and enjoy all of the amusement that Florida has to offer, but know what to look out for and stay safe!