There have been a number of amusement ride accidents featured in the news lately. In New York, there was a teenage girl who slipped down through a gondola ride, hanging on for a few minutes before eventually falling into a crowd of onlookers. They worked together to catch her and keep her safe.
In Tennessee, a Ferris wheel gondola malfunctioned, injuring three children. One of those children suffered brain damage as a result of the accident.
And of course, the latest accident comes out of Ohio, where the Fire Ball ride malfunctioned at the State Fair. One of the carriages separated from the spoke arms, and a rider was killed when he was ejected from his seat.
Each of these incidents happened in the last year. Media coverage has been substantial for each, leading some to believe that these accidents happen frequently. However, Dr. Kathryn Woodcock, who works at Ryerson University, spoke out to dispel that notion.
She said, in part, that the Ohio incident scared a lot of people because the public doesn’t hear about things like that happening very often. In general, seats do not come loose from amusement rides. In fact, amusement ride accidents as a whole generally do not occur.
Dr. Woodcock also notes that the media covers the accidents that do occur in great detail, because they are dramatic and draw people in. Most of these accidents occur up in the air, making them seem especially dangerous.
Are The Rides Safe?
The companies that oversee the rides have their own mechanics that receive training and certification on how to inspect the rides. These inspections take place on either a daily or a weekly basis, depending on the ride and what is outlined in the manual. Often, there are other inspections taking place as well; fairs may bring in someone to do an inspection and the company’s insurer often chooses to do one as well.
Overall, there is a substantial amount of oversight for amusement rides.
However, if I were injured, I would consult with a personal injury attorney near me like Tim Ryan to ensure my rights are protected and my compensation paid. Recovering from such injuries takes a lot of time, money, and patience. Without compensation, you’re paying those charges out of pocket.