According to the Amusement Park and Attractions Industry, there are more than 400 amusement parks and attractions in the United States. Heading to the amusement park is one of the ultimate fun summer activities for families, and millions of people head to attractions like Disney World, Universal Studios, Six Flags, or Cedar Point each year. Whether it’s the water rides, the rollercoasters, or the virtual reality rides, there’s not much that can top a family trip to the amusement park.
While most park visitors can enjoy the rides and attractions without incident, there has been an increase in stories popping up in the news such as the 2016 death of a young boy at a Kansas City Schlitterbahn. And to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 30,000 injuries that required emergency room treatment in 2016 alone. These numbers included both fixed-site parks such as Disney and Six Flags as well as mobile parks that travel from place to place.
Amusement parks have certainly come a long way from the questionable safety practices of the mid-20th century, but has amusement park safety really improved that much?
THERE IS LIMITED INFORMATION ABOUT AMUSEMENT PARK SAFETY
Although we know how many injuries occur at amusement attractions throughout the country, experts warn that data on amusement park safety is limited and regulations are inconsistent at best. It’s estimated that your chances of getting a severe injury at an amusement park that would warrant an overnight stay in the hospital is roughly one in 16 million, but it’s still tough to say whether or not amusement park safety has really improved over the years because the regulations depend on what state you’re in. In other words, there’s not a lot of federal oversight on inspections.
According to a recent article on CNN, the Consumer Product Safety Commission oversees the regulation of mobile amusement parks, but for fixed-site amusement parks like Disney or Six Flags, there is not one federal entity that oversees regulation. The regulation for fixed-site amusement parks is left up to state and local governments, with a few states having no regulation at all. And when rides get inspected, it’s often just a visual inspection unless the inspector sees something that sticks out.
The best way to protect yourself is to always follow any special seating order, weight and height restrictions, and always use safety equipment like seat belts or safety bars.
Have you or a loved one been injured at an amusement park in Georgia? If you suspect the injury was caused by faulty equipment or a negligent inspection, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills. Call on the services of an expert legal team like the Fry | Goehring. Set up a free consultation today by calling (404) 948-3571.