A recent string of amusement park accidents has been in the news this summer. Three young people fell from a Ferris Wheel in Tennessee. All three have been rushed to the emergency room, and the doctors are treating one for traumatic brain injury.
The rides were closed at the amusement park until a thorough inspection could be conducted.
The accident comes on the heels of several other amusement park injuries, including a ten-year-old boy who was killed in a water park accident. Surely, there must be more we can do to prevent tragedies like these.
A study by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio reports that there are thousands of amusement park injuries every year. This suggests that the rides may be more dangerous than many parents would suspect.
Common Causes of Amusement Park Accidents
Here are the leading contributors to theme park ride accidents.
- Mechanical Issues. In these cases, the accident happens because the ride was poorly made or maintained. For instance, the locking mechanism that holds a person in on a roller coaster could open and drop a passenger.
- Incorrect Ride Operation. In this case, the employee of the park isn’t trained properly on how to run the ride. This can cause danger to patrons.
- The Ride Itself. Some rides can cause injuries without any failure on the part of the patron or the park. Fast and jerky rides can cause neck injuries, for example. It is wise to listen to park warnings, and avoid certain types of rides if you have an existing medical condition.
In many cases, amusement park rides are a direct result of mistakes or negligence on the part of the park owner. This is unacceptable. Many of us see theme park trips as some of the happiest memories of childhood. No kid should have to remember a visit to their favorite ride as the site of a traumatic injury. We need to work to pressure parks and regulators to keep these places safe for families.
Frederick M. Dudek is a San Diego personal injury attorney committed to helping victims of serious accidents.