Every year, people are involved in accidents at amusement parks. In fact, recently, four people were injured after an amusement park accident occurred outside of London on June 2, 2015. A car full of thrill-seekers boarded a ride called “The Smiler” at Alton Towers, which is where the accident took place. It slammed into an empty car stuck on the tracks that Tuesday and the force of the collision ended up wedging the cars together. This accident left 16 riders dangling for more than four long hours. In year 2006, approximately 8,800 people were injured on amusement park rides alone and these numbers say a lot about the safety of some of these rides.
What Types of Amusement Park Injures May Occur?
Sometimes, bumper car rides or being whipped around on spinning rides can cause head, neck, and back injuries. If you are thrown from a ride, death could be a possibility. You may also experience stroke from trauma to ligaments in the neck. Roller coasters may cause brain aneurysms. The possibilities are really endless when it applies to what may happen to you at an amusement park, but the fact of the matter is that all people should be aware of these risks so that prevention can be a factor in keeping many safe.
Main Causes of Amusement Park Ride Injuries
- Mechanical Failure: Let’s take an example where the lap bar detaches mid-ride, a structural component breaks, or a roller coaster car detaches. Mechanical failure could be caused by a manufacturing defect or the park’s failure to maintain the ride.
- Improper Operation: The operator, in this situation, may abruptly stop the ride or incorrectly latch a seatbelt.
- Passenger misuse or failure to follow instructions: Perhaps a rider intentionally rocks a car, stands up mid-ride, unlatches safety restraints, sits improperly, or holds a child above the safety restraint.
- Inherent nature of the ride: An amusement park ride may cause an injury simply because of the nature of the ride itself even without any of the previously mentioned things. According to the CPSC, consumers have reported cases of cerebral and retinal hemorrhage, subdural hematoma, loss of consciousness, headache, and dizziness associated with the extremely rapid spinning of some of these rides.
Government Regulation of Amusement Park Rides
Is the ride categorized as fixed-site or mobile? This is what government regulation of an amusement park ride depends upon. Fixed-site rides refers to permanent fixtures that do not travel from one location to another, which includes the rides at Disneyland and Six Flags. However, mobile rides travel from site to site, like those that you may see at county fairs and carnivals. The problem is that the CPSC may regulate mobile amusement rides, sure, but they have no authority to regulate fixed-site rides. These are a completely different story. This exclusion from regulation is commonly referred to as the “Roller Coaster Loophole.” Approximately 28 states regulate and conduct safety inspections of fixed-site rides, and the remaining states rely on insurance companies or third party inspectors to check on amusement park safety and compliance with state and local regulations.
If you believe you may have a case, you should contact an attorney you can trust for a consultation. Call WTW today to speak to them about your amusement park injury claim. They will work with you!