Amusement parks can be a place for family-filled fun. When an amusement park’s owner, operator, or staff cuts corners, however, the venue can become dangerous and even deadly. When this happens, a day filled with fun can quickly turn into your worst nightmare. A recent CNN News article reported that amusement parks were linked to thousands of injuries last year, according to the U.S. Safety Commission (USSC).
The same week CNN issued the news report, one person was killed and seven more were injured in an Ohio State Fair accident where a ride malfunctioned and broke apart mid-air. Hospital emergency rooms across the nation saw about 30,000 patients for treatment of amusement-park related injuries in 2016. Because amusement park regulations are inconsistent, experts warn that data concerning amusement park safety is limited.
According to the International Association for Amusement Parks (IAAP), approximately 35 million people visit American amusement parks each year. These statistics show that the likelihood of sustaining a serious injury at a park that would require an overnight hospital stay is one in 16 million. The IAAP’s annual safety survey, most recently published in 2016, estimated that there were just over 1,500 ride-related injuries in 2015 among park attendees. While no data on fatalities was included, the injury number is a 32% increase from the year prior. Notably, the IAAP only collects data on fixed-site amusement parks. In other words, they only get information on locations where the rides are permanent fixtures, not on amusement parks that travel from location to location (like the one in Ohio).
Most Common Injuries
While ride-related injuries do happen at amusement parks, these are not the only injuries that occur at these venues. In fact, the average amusement park visitor is far more likely to be injured due to the park owner or operator’s failure to maintain the property properly. Most amusement park injuries are the same as those that would happen in any other large area, such as slip, trip, and falls. Injuries also happen due to crowds pushing in poorly supervised areas or poor maintenance of public common areas.
If your and your loved ones choose to ride amusement park rides, there are several things you can keep in mind to try to stay safe, especially if you have children with you. These include:
Always strictly following posted age, weight, height, and health restrictions;
Making sure to follow special seating order and/or loading instructions;
Ensuring safety equipment (such as seat belts and safety bars) are always used;
Making sure children keep their hands and feet inside of the ride the entire time;
If you know your child will not be able to follow safety rules, skip the ride altogether;
Trust your instincts if you are worried about the safety of the ride and do something else;
Avoid mall rides if they are on an unpadded surface or do not have child restraints.
Nevada Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been injured at a Nevada amusement park or has suffered any other personal injury due to the negligence of another, contact the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau. With years of experience helping injured clients across the state of Nevada, these lawyers will fight for the monetary compensation to which you are entitled.
(image courtesy of Scott Webb)