Are you a thrill seeker who enjoys rides at amusement parks and fairs? With fair season is full swing, it is worth noting that amusement park rides continue to cause critical injuries and even deaths. In 2017, Tennessee regulators began work to upgrade their inspections of amusement park rides across the state saying systematic problems needed to be addressed.
The Tennessee inspectors went into action after an 18-year-old man was killed when a ride malfunctioned in July 2017, at the Ohio State Fair. That ride is now banned in Tennessee as well as many other states.
Dangers of amusement park rides
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 30,900 injuries in the U.S. from amusement park rides that sent people to and emergency room in 2016. Twenty-two people have died since 2010 across the U.S. because of an amusement park ride accident.
Ride inspections different for each state
There are no federal oversight regulations for amusement park rides. Each state is responsible for their own regulations concerning the safety of amusement park rides. The law in Tennessee requires a ride to be inspected once a year. However, a ride may be in another state and tore down and moved to Tennessee. If the ride had an inspection within three months of applying for a permit in Tennessee, it would pass the inspection.
Amusement parks are busy places
According to the International Association of Amusement Parks, around 335 million people attend an amusement park in the U.S. each year. There are 28 county fairs scheduled in the month of August in Tennessee which means a lot of people will be on rides. The dangers are not far away as a Ferris wheel dumped out three young girls in Greeneville, Tennessee in August of 2017. The girls fell four stories before they hit the ground.
If you are planning to attend an amusement park, remember that injuries and death can be a possibility from malfunctioning rides. Before you go, you may want to research the safety record of the amusement park you are visiting.