The lure of amusement and theme parks is hard to ignore for many people in Florida. However, as fun and exciting as amusement parks may be, they are also full of dangers that can lead to injury and even death. According to the NY Times, amusement park guests have a much higher chance of being struck by lightning or hit by a car than they do of sustaining serious injuries at theme parks. The chances of injury are one out of 24 million.
In 2011, 400 resorts and theme parks administered 1.7 billion rides to 300 million visitors. Many of these rides, such as roller coasters are not currently subject to federal regulation. Rides that are capable of moving people faster than 100 mph are not required to meet the strict standards and regulations that baby strollers must meet.
Much of the public is unaware of how dangerous amusement park rides can be unless there is a death or catastrophic injury, states the NY Daily News. Thanks to the “roller coaster loophole”, fixed site theme parks have not fallen under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Product Safety Commission since 1981. Even though many theme parks and amusement resorts promote their safety records, there is a major lack of transparency in the industry. Many major amusement parks are not required to report investigations and accidents regarding their rides. Each year, the parks that do track their incidents, report over 1,000 injuries.
Amusement park rides can be a great source of fun. However, they can also be a major source of injury for unsuspecting guests. Visitors should be mindful of all park and ride rules to protect themselves from the dangers are associated with them.