Amusement park accidents often result in serious injury or death to somebody visiting or working at an amusement park.
Most amusement park accidents are required to be reported to regulatory authorities. They usually fall into one of the following categories:
- Caused by negligence on the part of the guest. This can be refusal to follow specific ride safety instructions, or deliberate intent to break park rules.
- The result of a guest's known or unknown health issues.
- Negligence on the part of the park, either by ride operator or maintenance.
- Act of God or a generic accident (eg slipping and falling), that is not a direct result of an action on anybody's part.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission tracks statistics for all amusement ride accidents. These accidents occur at traveling carnivals, on portable inflatable attractions, and on fixed-site amusements such as roller coasters.
All of Florida's major parks -- which include the Disney parks
, SeaWorld Orlando
, Universal Orlando
, and Busch Gardens Africa
-- report quarterly details surrounding accidents and other incidents at their parks. A requirement for these reported incidents is that they are fatal incidents, or that the injured person required an overnight hospital visit. Four examples of the types of incidents that have been reported to Florida's Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection are listed here:
- *a 68-year-old woman fractured both legs and an arm while exiting the ride vehicle of Peter Pan's Flight.
- *a 42-year-old man broke his left ankle while exiting the Kilimanjaro Safari ride vehicle.
- *a 14-year-old girl broke her arm on the Camp Jurassic climbing nets.
- *a 57-year-old man suffered chest pain while riding Revenge of the Mummy.
Employees injured at the parks are not reported.
According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), a trade association for permanent amusement park facilities, 300 million people visit amusement parks each year. The chance of an injury occurring in a park is 1 in 9 million.
- In the first quarter of 2007, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, Wet ‘n Wild and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay reported no serious incidents on their rides. Disney reported four.
- In the 2nd quarter of 2007, only five significant incidents occurred at the major Orlando and Tampa Bay area theme parks. This marked the first time in five quarters that a fatality was not reported by those parks.
- In the 3rd quarter of 2007, eight serious injuries were reported at the major Orlando and Tampa Bay area theme parks..
- In the 4th quarter of 2007, three injuries and one death were reported at the major Orlando and Tampa Bay area theme parks..
- In the fourth quarter of 2006, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, Wet ‘n Wild and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay reported no serious injuries or illnesses on rides in their fourth-quarter filings. Disney reported 6 incidents, ranging from a guest's dizziness upon exiting a ride to a broken foot at Typhoon Lagoon.
- In the second quarter of 2006, there were 12 reported cases of serious injuries or illnesses out of the millions of people who visited the various parks and resorts.
- *Disney reported nine cases. Among them were: two deaths; a man who swallowed too much water at Typhoon Lagoon; three women who fell and broke their hips or suffered other injuries; two men with chest pains; and a boy who fainted at Blizzard Beach.
- * During that same time period, Universal Orlando reported one case: a woman with chest pain, numbness in an arm, and other symptoms.
- * SeaWorld and Busch Gardens reported no cases during the quarter.
- * Busch Garden's Adventure Island water park reported two cases of people complaining of injuries.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- There were more than 15,000 amusement ride-related injuries in 2005 in the U.S.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported the following in 2003:
- From 1987 to 2000, there were an estimated 4.5 amusement ride-related deaths per year.
- There were 3 deaths in 2003, 2 deaths in 2002, and 3 deaths in 2001.
- ASTM F2291, Practice for Design of Amusement Rides and Devices