The U.S. amusement park industry, which includes traveling carnivals, water parks and resort theme parks, generates around $12 billion in annual revenues and provides jobs for over 600,000 people. You may think with the size of the revenues and large numbers of employees in the amusement park industry that safety issues would have been addressed by Congress and the park operators. Yet relatively little has been done to insure the safety of the nearly 300 million annual visitors to U.S. amusement parks.
The amusement park industry has been lightly regulated since 1981 when Congress limited the authority of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to traveling rides and exempted parks with permanently fixed rides or “Big Theme” parks from regulation. This inefficient regulation allows ride manufacturers, park owner-operators and insurers to handle safety issues as they wish, and places the paying public at risk for injuries and fatalities.
Reports by the CPSC show that injuries at amusement parks are on the rise and may be under-reported as many facilities do not generally make safety statistics available to the public. The escalation of accidents and injuries can be attributed to new high-speed, computerized rides that require mature, skilled workers to operate them. However, minors can operate these rides in 34 states. Young amusement park workers may be improperly trained or lack the experience and decision-making skills necessary to safely operate high-tech rides. Some amusement park injuries occur because the owner did not properly maintain its equipment. In other cases, the guest visiting the park may not have been made aware of the rules and warnings for a particular ride.
If you are planning to visit an amusement park, observe all posted ride safety rules, and obey age, height, weight and health restrictions. Never attempt to exit a ride until it comes to a complete stop. Use safety equipment provided and keep arms, legs, hands and feet inside the ride at all times. Take special care that children understand ride safety and appropriate behavior. Never force anyone to ride an attraction when they do not want to do so.
If you or a loved one has been injured on an attraction at an amusement park, call the experienced lawyers at the Law Offices of Henry Hanflik, 810-720-4000 or 888-905-4632. We will obtain the maximum compensation for you.