Trends: Accidents that occur during the ride/device experience

Accidents that occur during the active portion of an amusement ride, or while using participatory amusement devices like climbing walls and inflatables, account for 55% of the accidents reported to state ride safety agencies.

  • Amusement rides - Half of all injuries reported during a ride at an amusement park or carnival result from hitting or scraping against something in the vehicle during a normal ride cycle. The accelerations that put the thrill in thrill rides can also knock you around a bit. How much depends on the rider's size, shape, age and position - in combination with the design of the ride. Falls or ejection from the carrier account for 10% of accidents reported while riding and most involve very young children. Visit the Child Safety Overview section for tips on safer thrills for small children.
  • Waterpark attractions - Almost three quarters of all injuries reported during use of waterpark attractions result from patrons hitting or scraping against the slide or pool. Flipping off the tube or mat while going down a slide is a commonly reported trigger point for accidental injury. Make sure you follow the operator's instructions on riding position for the whole journey. Don't forget that young children need close adult supervision while in the water. The lifeguards are there as a last line defense; protecting your child is your job.
  • Go-karts - More than 90% of go-kart accidents involve collisions: karts running into each other or karts running into stationary objects. More than half of all reported go-kart accidents injure children between the ages of 8 and 14. Kids need training and adult supervision when learning to drive -- that's as true for go-karts as it is for automobiles. Before you allow your child to take the wheel of a go-kart, make sure he or she knows how to drive it, understands the rules of the track, and has the skill and maturity to use the go-kart safely.
  • General advice - Read the safety sign and watch others on the ride before deciding whether it's a safe bet for you or your child. If riders your size and age (or your child's size and age) look uncomfortable, can't reach the bracing points, or seem to be sliding around a lot, choose another ride. If the ride looks rickety or the attendants aren't paying attention or the ride scares you for some other reason, don't board it. Once you make the decision to ride, follow all the instructions provided, hang on tight, and have fun!

Accidents that occur during the ride

The following tables show the types of accidents that occur during the ride, as identified in public accident reports provided to Saferparks by state regulatory agencies. Click on the accident category to view database information.





Source: Public records provided by U.S. regulatory agencies under widely varying laws. Regulated industry sectors & devices and criteria for reporting accidents are different in every jurisdiction. 83% of the records were provided by three states (NJ, CA, and TX). 88% of the reports fall within the years 1999-2007. See the Data Sources page for more information.