Nearly 335 million people visit one of 400 amusement parks in the U.S. each year, says the International Association for Amusement Parks. But inconsistency in the regulation of rides is concerning to visitors and is causing thousands of injuries every year.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated that 30,900 injuries caused by amusement park attractions were seen in 2016 alone, and 22 fatalities since 2010. The most common causes of amusement park accidents include mechanical failures, operator behavior, and consumer behavior.
The head and neck was the most commonly injured body region, and the most frequent type of injury was a soft tissue injury, according to a study. But, depending on the cause and nature of the accident, park-goers are also at risk of suffering from traumatic head or brain injuries, neck and spinal cord damage, whiplash, broken bones and fractures, lacerations and soft tissue injuries, drownings, and wrongful death.
Each state is responsible for the regulation of fixed-site amusement parks, and currently, 44 out of 50 states actually do so. The six without state oversight are Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah. "These states contain few, if any amusement parks," says The Global Association for the Attractions Industry.
The Global Association for the Attractions Industry created a list of amusement ride safety tips (listed below) that all visitors should follow:
- Obey listed age, height, weight, and health restrictions.
- Observe all posted ride safety rules, and follow all verbal instructions given by ride operators or provided by recorded announcements.
- Keep hands, arms, legs, and feet inside the ride at all times.
- Secure all loose articles, including wallets, change, sunglasses, cell phones, and hats.
- Do not board a ride impaired.
- Remain seated in the ride until it comes to a complete stop and you are instructed to exit.
- Always use safety equipment provided and never attempt to wriggle free of or loosen restraints or other safety devices.
- Parents should make sure their children can understand and follow safe and appropriate ride behavior.
- Never force anyone, especially children, to ride attractions they don't want to ride.
- If you see any unsafe behavior or condition on a ride, report it to a supervisor or manager immediately.
If you or your child has been injured at an amusement park, three types of law may apply – negligence, premises liability, and product liability law. A number of factors may be involved, and a variety of responsible parties could be liable for the injury. It's important that you seek immediate help from an experienced child injury attorney.
Have you or your loved one experienced an amusement park related injury? The experienced personal injury lawyers at Thomas J. Henry are available 24/7 to hear your case. Contact them at 877-978-1740 or www.thomasjhenry.com for a free consultation.