Home Blog Premises Liability The Dangers of Fair Rides: What You Need to Know

The Dangers of Fair Rides: What You Need to Know

By Eugene Bruno on May 30, 2024

Fairs are beloved for their vibrant atmosphere, delicious food, and, of course, the thrilling rides. However, while fair rides offer excitement and fun, they also come with risks. Understanding the potential dangers and taking appropriate precautions can help ensure a safe experience.

Common Dangers of Fair Rides

Here’s what you need to know about the dangers of fair rides and how to stay safe. The following are the most commong causes of dangers for fair rides:

  • Mechanical Failures: Fair rides are complex machines with many moving parts. Mechanical failures can occur due to poor maintenance, manufacturing defects, or wear and tear. Such failures can lead to accidents ranging from minor injuries to serious incidents.
  • Operator Error: Ride operators play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of riders. However, mistakes can happen. Misjudging the timing, failing to secure restraints properly, or not following safety protocols can lead to dangerous situations.
  • Structural Issues: Temporary structures, like those used for fair rides, can sometimes be unstable if not properly erected or maintained. Structural failures can result in collapses or malfunctions that put riders at risk.
  • Rider Misbehavior: Riders who do not follow safety instructions, stand up, unbuckle seat belts, or engage in reckless behavior can endanger themselves and others. Such actions can interfere with the safe operation of the ride.
  • Health Risks: Certain rides can pose health risks, especially for individuals with pre-existing conditions. High-speed rides, those with significant drops, or rides that spin rapidly can cause motion sickness, exacerbate heart conditions, or lead to other health issues.

Why Do Traveling Carnival Accidents Happen?

Traveling carnivals and fairs are unique because their rides and attractions are designed to be set up and taken down regularly. This constant mobility contributes to significant wear and tear on the equipment. Repeated assembly and disassembly can weaken components over time, potentially leading to mechanical failures. Additionally, fair rides are exposed to various weather conditions, which can cause metal parts to expand and contract, leading to structural weaknesses. Rain and humidity can cause rust and corrosion, further impacting the safety of the rides.

Another factor is the burnout among the personnel responsible for assembling, disassembling, and operating these rides. The demanding schedule and physical labor can lead to fatigue, increasing the likelihood of human error. These conditions create situations where accidents are more likely to occur.

Non-permanent rides, such as those at a fairground or traveling carnival, are regulated by a different governmental body than fixed rides at amusement parks, such as those operated by Six Flags or Disney. Fixed-site amusement parks are subject to regulation by local and state agencies, while non-permanent rides, inflatables, and go-karts are regulated by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC manages recalls and laws surrounding unsafe products. Please read our blog post on theme parks and water parks to learn more about the dangers of fixed-site amusement parks.

The Statistics Behind the Risks

A study by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy found that over 20 years, more than 27,000 injuries to children under 18 were severe enough to require treatment in hospital emergency departments due to mobile rides like those at fairs and festivals. This translates to approximately 1,350 injuries each year. These numbers underscore the importance of safety measures and vigilance when enjoying fair rides.

Staying Safe on Fair Rides

While the potential dangers of fair rides are concerning, there are steps you can take to promote safety:

  • Choose Rides Wisely: Select rides that are appropriate for your age, height, and health condition. Pay attention to the safety signs and instructions provided for each ride.
  • Inspect Before You Ride: Observe the ride before you get on. Look for signs of poor maintenance, such as rust, missing bolts, or strange noises. If something seems off, skip the ride.
  • Follow All Instructions: Listen to and follow all instructions given by ride operators. Use safety restraints as directed, remain seated, and always keep your hands and feet inside the ride.
  • Monitor Operator Behavior: Ensure ride operators are attentive, professional, and follow safety protocols. If an operator appears distracted or careless, it’s best to avoid that ride.
  • Know Your Limits: If you have a medical condition, consult your doctor before riding. Avoid rides that may be too intense or could exacerbate health issues.
  • Report Concerns: If you notice anything unsafe or experience an issue on a ride, immediately report it to fair officials. Your vigilance can help prevent accidents.

A San Diego Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Protect Your Rights

If you or a loved one sustains an injury while on a ride or near a carnival attraction, it’s crucial to gather as much evidence as possible. Document the area and structure by taking photos and videos, and try to obtain additional evidence of the accident from friends or bystanders. Keep any ticket stubs in a safe place if available.

Given the temporary nature of these events and attractions, you can’t assume that the ride or operators will remain on-site for an extended period following the incident. In some cases, rides may be disassembled shortly after. Seek necessary medical attention and consult with a lawyer to understand your rights and options.

With more than 45 years of combined experience, Eugene Bruno & Associates is dedicated to serving clients in San Diego. Our San Diego personal injury attorneys have successfully secured tens of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.

To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers, you can use our online form or reach our office by calling 1-888-BRUNO-88.

Posted in: Premises Liability