The thrill of a roller coaster ride, the view from high atop a Ferris wheel, the cool water splashing you as you head downhill on a flume ride. These are all reasons to head to an amusement park with your family on a summer day.
While these parks are a fun way to bond with family and friends, they can occasionally be dangerous.
Common causes of amusement park injuries
The most common causes of amusement park accidents that result in injury or death include, but are not limited to:
- brake failure
- hard stops
- collision with others on the ride
- ride malfunctions; becoming stuck
- restraint system failure
- ride ejection
- falls from rides
- failure to use a safety net or failure of a safety net
- structural failure
- improper supervision
- inadequate maintenance or the failure to conduct maintenance
- poor design
- defective ride parts/components
- ride operator error or misconduct
- gasoline fires
- riders getting caught in machinery
- ride parts falling onto bystanders below
- cables snapping
Paying attention to park rules, reading signs and trusting your instincts can help avoid injury at amusement parks. If a particular ride makes you nervous, you can prepare for a fun-filled day at a park by checking the Saferparks Database, which offers a list of complaints of injuries to view by state, date, ride and more. A search under Washington State yields results from several incidents in Seattle and statewide. These include:
- A 59-year-old who sustained a severe head injury due to a 30-foot fall
- Two children sustaining injuries due to a train derailment
- A patron being transported to a hospital due to a go-kart accident
Incidents like this are preventable when owners and operators of amusement parks have rides and attractions properly inspected each year. Defects should never be ignored. If a ride or attraction is found to be dangerous or in violation of state law, it should be shut down until repairs and further inspections are made. This is required by law under Chapter 67.42 RCW.
What to do if you’ve been injured at an amusement park
A fun day in greater Seattle shouldn't have to take a turn for the worse. If you or a loved sustained injuries due to an amusement park accident, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.