Today’s post comes from Anthony Lucas at the Jernigan Law Firm.
Amusement Park Injuries: Riders Beware
Recently I visited Walt Disney World with my family and we rode several rides. Some of the rides were a little rough, but never did I think about the rides breaking or me getting hurt. However, when I returned home I saw on the evening news a story about a roller coaster in Japan malfunctioning leaving 64 people stuck upside down for two hours which got me to thinking about amusement park injuries.
In 2016, the most recent year for data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 30,900 amusement park ride-related injuries that resulted in an emergency room visit. Furthermore, since 2010 there have been at least 22 fatalities caused by amusement park rides, including one in 2017 when a teenager was killed when a Fireball ride collapsed in Ohio and another in 2016 when a 10-year-old boy was decapitated on a waterslide at a Kansas waterpark. Prior to this injury, the operators ignored multiple reports of safety issues related to the slide.
A few safety tips for amusement park riders from Saferparks.com are to:
- Read and obey all posted rules and restrictions.
- Make sure the ride is appropriate for the rider.
- Securely latch all restraints and use grab bars.
- Take frequent breaks if you’re riding high gravitational force rides.
- Stop riding before you get excessively tired.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Don’t board a ride if it looks poorly-maintained or the operator is inattentive.
For more information on injuries related to amusement park rides, visit the Orlando Sentinel’s database for Florida theme parks and the Amusement Safety Organization’s website. In North Carolina, if you are aware of potential safety issues contact the N.C. Department of Labor’s Elevator and Amusement Device Bureau via telephone at 1-800-625-2267 or 919-807-2770, or online at https://www.labor.nc.gov/safety-and-health/elevator/report-safety-concern.