Amusement park accidents can lead to tragedy
Many families in South Carolina anticipate the arrival of local fairs and carnivals. After all, they are the perfect events friends and relatives to hang out and have fun. However, many people who visit fairs to go on amusement park rides are not aware of the dangers. The risk of falls, electrocution, ride failures and other serious and potentially life-threatening accidents are much higher than most of them realize. Bustle.com reports that each year, amusement park rides injure an average of 4,400 kids.
The most recent amusement park tragedy in Ohio suggests that inspections are not enough to ensure the safety of amusement park guests. The Fireball ride in the Ohio amusement park accident had recently passed inspections. Many things that can go wrong during an inspection that can cause dangerous conditions to be overlooked. The manufacturer alleges the cause of the malfunction was due to deterioration and corrosion. That malfunction caused the death of one person and injuries to several others.
Amusement park visitors have no way of knowing they are safe
Data on amusement park and carnival accidents is not readily available. According to NBCNews.com, the most common way the “public learns about amusement park injuries is from the news.” Most oversight organizations do not track incidents that result in serious harm and death, especially on adult guests. Instead, they keep statistics on the number of visitors and ride participants.
Children are usually the victims
Despite not knowing the risks, thousands of people flock to amusement parks and carnivals each year. Children are the ones who tend to suffer the most in amusement park ride accidents. They are smaller and less capable of recognizing hazardous conditions. Their bodies are more fragile than adults and more likely to sustain devastating injuries that they may not recover from.
Safety regulations are sparse
Many states do not have stringent safety measures in place visiting amusement park rides. In South Carolina, periodic and annual inspections are mandatory. However, "inspections are required every time carnival rides are put together in North Carolina, along with a daily operational check” states WSPA.com. Inspections are necessary to bring potential hazards to the attention of ride owners so they can take appropriate measures to correct them. The rides in both states cannot operate until they are completely up to code.
Anyone who plans to visit amusement parks to enjoy the rides should inspect them first. They should also check the rides to ensure that their inspection certifications are recent and the ride workers have sufficient experience in operating them.