Over the past weekend a woman fell to her death from a roller coaster a a well-known amusement park in Texas. It’s estimated that close to eight million visitors and tourists frequent theme parks and amusement parks in the United States annually. Many of the visits occur during in the summertime when the kids are out of school and places of employment can be slightly more flexible with time off for parents. As soon as school ends, the vacation planning takes place. The kids chomp at the bit, so excited they can hardly sleep in any number of days leading up to the time of departure. To make sure that your family has a safe trip at the amusement park of choice, you will want to add certain safety items to your checklist when planning.
Major theme parks rarely serve as scenes of tragic amusement park accidents, particularly bigger ones such as Walt Disney Theme Parks or Magic Mountain. But we do know that equipment can prove faulty in certain conditions, or that ride operators sometimes fail to notice something amiss. When that does happen, you realize too late that your care was in the hands of someone who was “care-less”. How do you make sure everyone has a great time, and remains injury free?
Rides at the bigger amusement parks have guidelines, and a responsible park will post those guidelines at the front of the line before you step into the ride. Here are some cautions and advisory signs you might encounter at your favorite park:
- Do not ride if you are pregnant or have a heart condition.
- Do not ride if you are shorter than the height limit required for this ride.
- Keep all hands, feet, head and other objects inside the ride at all times. (Purses and cameras have been known to fly out of the moving car when not secured tightly to the body.)
- Do not enter or exit the ride until instructed to do so.
- Make sure that you are secured safely in the ride. If you have any doubts, ask the attendant to check and verify that you are latched in.
People are injured on rides even when they do take the precautions listed above. There could be a ride malfunction causing someone to be thrown from the ride. There could be an electrical malfunction that causes a fire or shock to someone on the ride. A power outage could occur resulting in sudden stop or delay of the ride. If you have been injured at an amusement park, or know someone who has suffered as a result of an injury to a family member or friend, you will want to seek the advice of an attorney who can help you with your case instead of tackling on your own the entities who manage and advise large parks. If your case was an isolated incident, you may find it more difficult to prove who was at fault.
Visits to amusement parks top the list of summer to-dos. Staying safe at the park of your choice will create memories for you and your family that will last a lifetime.