Amusement parks can be a great source of fun for people of all ages. Millions of people every year attend local county fairs, church homecomings, school festivals and large commercial amusement parks where roller coasters and thrill rides are plentiful. Most people climb aboard these rides and do not question the safety.
However, thousands are injured every year most commonly seeking medical attention for head injuries, broken bones, and back injuries.
When you and your family plan a fun outing to an amusement park, you are most likely not anticipating anyone getting hurt. You simply trust that the rides are in good working order and the staff is properly trained in operating the rides and providing for your safety. However, stories like this show that accidents can and do happen.
Even though certain accidents can occur that are outside of your control, there are some precautions you can take to ensure the safety of you and your family while visiting an amusement park. The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) have created a list of tips to help keep you and your family safe:
- 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.
Sometimes, however, regardless of how careful you are, tragedy can still strike. It is the responsibility of the amusement park to maintain safe rides which consistently comply with industry standards.
The park must also ensure the employees are properly trained on operating the rides and are responsible for an employee’s reckless or careless behavior that contributes to an accident.
Personal injury attorney John Yannone commented, “The entire atmosphere of amusement parks encourages fun, but an individual’s behavior (or lack thereof) does not excuse the parks from their responsibilities of properly maintaining their rides and suitably training their staff members to prevent injuries.