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Amusement park accidents are on the rise

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Visiting amusement parks can be a great way to spend time with family and friends and create new memories, but in some cases, those innocent trips to the amusement park end in tragedy. Many Americans mistakenly assume that, because they are open and operational, amusement parks, their rides and everything else inside are inherently safe.

Statistics prove otherwise, however, with CNN reporting that Americans suffered more than 30,000 injuries at the nation's amusement parks in 2016 alone.

By the numbers

Visitor injuries are not uncommon at amusement parks, and they also appear to be on the rise. In 2014, for example, amusement park visitors suffered 1,146 injuries directly linked to rides and attractions. In 2015, however, this number climbed to 1,508 ride-related injuries, marking a 32 percent increase over the year prior.

While these numbers are alarming enough, it is worth noting that these particular numbers come from a survey involving fixed-site amusement attractions exclusively. In other words, these figures do not include injury rates for traveling carnivals, county fairs and the like, many of which have amusements that are constantly erected and dismantled, making them even more likely to cause injury.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Safety Commission conducted its own study of amusement park attraction safety in 2016, and this study involved both fixed-site and traveling amusement park attractions. In this study, visitors suffered 30,900 injuries relating to rides and attractions that were severe enough to warrant emergency room visits.

Other potential park hazards

While rides pose an obvious threat to park, fair and carnival attendees, visitors also run the risk of suffering other types of injuries in theme parks, among them slip-and-fall injuries. Such injuries may prove even more common at parks with water features, where the ground is typically wet and often slippery.

Safety advocates believe part of the problem with amusement park dangers is that there is not a lot of industry oversight of rides and other possible safety hazards. As a visitor, trust your instincts and avoid any attractions that concern you.

If you have suffered an injury while at an amusement park, fair, or carnival, speak with an attorney regarding the possibility of recovering compensation.

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