For many Americans, amusement rides offer an experience unlike any other. Rides offer the chance to travel at incredibly high speeds, plummet from great heights and pump adrenaline through the body. The excitement offered by amusement rides is often preferred to more extreme thrill-seeking activities because they are both cheaper and, at least in theory, safer.
When someone gets on a ride, they feel sure that the adrenaline rush they experience will end safely, hence their appeal. Unfortunately, not all amusement rides are as safe as riders would like to believe. Every day in the United States, on average, 12 people are injured on amusement rides. In some cases, these injuries are deadly.
The Near-Tragedy in Six Flags Amusement Park in New York
In a video from June 2017, a 14-year-old girl is shown hanging by her hands from a seat on Sky Ride, a gondola-style ride at Six Flags amusement park in upstate New York. How the girl got there is unclear, but the terrifying video shows that she fell 25 feet into the hands of good-willed patrons. The girl was fortunate that people were there to help, though both the girl and one of the men responsible for breaking her fall were treated for injuries.
You’ve probably noticed that amusement park terrors are regularly featured in the news. Time Magazine writes an account of recent injuries that includes torn scalps, electric shock, falling patrons and, in one tragic case, a decapitation. Injuries can occur on many different types of rides or from great heights at water parks or other types of amusement parks.
How Amusement Ride Injuries Happen
There are several factors that could lead to injuries on amusement park rides. Rides that are improperly maintained pose a threat to patrons. Ride operators also have a responsibility to make sure that riders are strapped in safely in accordance with guidelines. However, there is some evidence that workers in charge of riders’ safety work in demanding environments that make accidents more likely.
NBC News found that many of the people who work as ride operators, especially in carnivals and fairs, do so on temporary work visas, and they are often required to work long shifts in demanding environments. Workers are often underpaid, overworked and undertrained. Safety advocates say that these factors lead to situations where both workers and riders are vulnerable to amusement ride accidents.
Who is Responsible for Amusement Ride Safety?
There are several parties responsible for one single amusement ride. The manufacturer, owner and operator of a ride all play a part in guaranteeing a rider’s safety. A failure in design, upkeep or operation can have disastrous results for the rider. Employers of operators also have an obligation to make sure their workers are put in an environment where they will be able to do their job properly.
If you or a loved one has had the unfortunate experience of being involved in an amusement ride accident in New York, we encourage you to reach out to Kaplan Lawyers PC to learn more about your legal options. We handle all types of personal injury cases throughout the state.
Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC by filling out our online form or calling us at any of our office locations:
(212) 563-1900 (NYC)
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