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The Ups and Downs of Amusement Rides

Coney Island’s famed wooden roller coaster, the Cyclone, opened for the season on March 24. One man, sporting a Cyclone tattoo,waited 15 hours to be the first to ride, according to the New York Times. Despite the chilly weather and lingering Hurricane Sandy damage in the area, the man, who claimed to have ridden the Cyclone almost 2,000 times, was happy to be back!

While amusement rides such as the Cyclone are thrilling for most, the National Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that an average of 7,000 people are treated in emergency rooms each year for injuries they sustained in amusement ride accidents, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. More than 270 million people visit American amusement parks each year.

The leading cause of accidents is rider misconduct, according to ride accidents.com. The website offers guidelines to avoid accidents:

  • Check the park’s injury reporting records, which are often available from state inspections departments. Consider a different park if you find accidents that occur due to structural or maintenance failure or operator error.
  • Note the park’s general appearance. If the grounds are not well-maintained, it is probably an accurate reflection of how well-maintained its rides are. Make sure that the park has adequate security officers or policemen. Alcohol should not be permitted on the midway. If the rides appear rusty or littered, or if some cars are not being used, don’t ride that particular ride.
  • Assess the conduct of ride operators. If operators aren’t paying attention to the controls and the ride itself, don’t ride. If you see other riders being unruly, alert the ride operator and do not ride the ride.
  • If you have children with you, explain the rules to them, such as always use seat belts, lap bars or chains, and shoulder harnesses when they are provided and do not stand up on the ride. Other rules prohibit rocking cars, especially on rides like Ferris Wheels, Log Flumes, and Sky rides, and tell riders to keep hands, legs and arms inside the ride.
  • Never attempt to board a ride when it is moving or to exit a ride before it comes to a complete stop.

The New York City amusement ride injury lawyers at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., are experienced at representing victims of personal injury and wrongful death. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries at an amusement park due to someone else’s negligence, contact our New York City injury and accident attorneys at 866.210.7535 immediately to discuss how you might recover the costs of your medical care and other losses.


David Resnick founded the firm in 1998 after working in large law firms where he saw a need for greater client communication and more personal care. He wanted to help everyday folks who have had the misfortune to be injured in an accident.

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