Roller Coaster Accidents and Amusement Park Safety

A lot of families and friends visit amusement parks especially in the summer. Adult and children alike associate this place with happy and good times, with all the entertainment, treats and rides in it.

However, there are times when the fun rides cause injuries to some of the visitors. There are even those who are unfortunate enough to not make it out the park alive.

Types of Roller Coaster Accidents and Amusement Parks Injuries

Different injuries can be the result of roller coaster accidents, malfunction of certain rides, or a person getting caught in between parts of the ride. Water-related rides—slides, wave pools, and even the seemingly innocent river rides where people ride on inflatable devices—can also cause injuries.

A study  for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) has shown that an estimated 2,800 to 4,300 of injuries that have been treated in emergency rooms are the result of injuries from mobile amusement rides—traveling carnivals, rented rides for a party or event, or even those used in, but not part of, fixed locations such as Disney World or Six Flags from 1997 to 2003.

55 deaths from 1987 to 2001 have also been reported by the CSPC as associated with both mobile and fixed-site amusement parks.

The following is a list of serious injuries that are associated with amusement parks:

Cartoid Artery Dissection (CAD) and Stroke – This is an injury that occurs when the arteries in a person’s neck are torn and most often resulting to stroke. The vigorous movement during a ride, such as a roller coaster, may cause the rider’s neck to move violently and injure the arteries.

Deadly Falls —  There are some instances when the rider falls from or is thrown out of a ride, resulting to fatal injuries.

Brain Aneurysms —  This is another risk for some people, whether adult or child, may get from riding a fast-moving amusement park ride.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – Some rides may cause a bleeding in a rider’s brain as a result of the incredible speed of the ride or the stress the ride puts on the rider’s body. Getting hit on the head with a part of a ride may also cause this injury, also known as subdural hematomas.

Paralysis —  This may be the result of a stroke or other injuries suffered by the rider.

Drowning – Water-related rides pose the risk of causing drowning in amusement parks, especially if the ride is not adequately supervised.

Lacerations, Broken Bones and Torn Ligaments – either internal or external

Emotional Injuries and Distress – If a ride like a roller coaster malfunctions in the middle of the ride, the riders may experience stress, mental anguish and other emotional injuries as a result of being stranded.

Roller Coaster Accident Dangers and Amusement Park Risks

Amusement parks, like any other business, also have the potential to be operating defective equipment. The ride’s doors, shoulder harness or lap bars may malfunction and cause injury to the rider.

It’s the same for waterpark rides where their employees may become negligent in the performance of routine safety checks or supervise the riders due to various reasons.

The most common injuries in riders in amusement parks involve injuries in the head, neck and back.

Water slide injuries are also very common in water rides like slides and wave pools where drowning is highly possible.

Medical Treatment and Roller Coaster Accidents and Amusement Park Injuries

For victims who suffered serious injuries in an amusement park ride, physical therapy and long-term treatment may be required for their recovery.

Injuries may also case a drastic change in a person’s life when they are serious enough to limit mobility, cause amputation or disfigurement, or even paralysis.

In addition to physical injuries, mental traumas may likely contribute to the suffering of a victim. It may sometimes be worse than the actual physical injury that has been suffered. Other times the trauma may cause such a disability that would require extended or lifelong treatment.

Know your rights

Unfortunately, there is still no federal law related to amusement park safety but some states may have regulations on amusement park rides.

If you or a loved one suffered any injury at an amusement park, ride or water park, you may be entitled to compensation such as current and future medical and other expenses. You may even be entitled to punitive damages.

If you are considering filing a case against an amusement or water park, go over your case with an experienced lawyer. The attorney can discuss with you:

  • If you or your loved ones may be entitled to compensation for medical treatment, both current and future
  • If you are a worker at the amusement park where you are injured, whether you and your loved ones can recover lost wages and other expenses related to the injuries
  • If you or your loved ones may be entitled to claim damages for pain and suffering

Safety Tips

When you and your loved ones go to amusement or water parks, go over with them the following pointers for safety:

  • Notice if the ride operator is preoccupied or seem unconcerned about the riders and the ride; if so, do not go on that ride.
  • Park employees may check if the harnesses, belts, or safety bars are secure; however, it will be better to double-check your own safety restraint and see if they are secured. If not, call the attention of a park employee for assistance.
  • Follow the ride’s rules: do not stand up, extend limbs outside or make sudden movements while the ride is in motion.
  • Follow the rules on age, height and weight that are allowed for the ride.
  • Tie long hairs in a bun or a pony tail to prevent them from being entangled on any part of the ride.
  • Remove eye glasses, or make sure that they are safely secured with an eyeglass strap.
  • Remove hats, any headgear or accessories that may fall off while on the ride.
  • If you notice anything that may cause concern about the ride, call the attention of the operator immediately. It is always better to report any concern rather than ignore it.

Would you like to discuss your legal matter?


image description
Jack Morgan CALL US! 866-205-4971

We will assist in scheduling new and existing clients for all offices. For initial consultations we will ask you a few questions and then find the best time for you to talk to one of the lawyers that best fits your legal matter.

Call us or use the email form and we will follow up with you right away.


The Law Offices of Hogan Injury will provide you with personalized attention and guidance. Protecting your rights is our main objective. We have been representing clients for the past 30 years and our experienced team of attorneys will advise you of the legal consequences of every decision you take.