Now that summer vacationers are filling up amusement parks on a daily basis how safe are you on the towering roller coasters? Am I the only one who wonders what if something happens? What if something goes wrong will I have enough time to react? With the recent death at Six Flags over Texas, these things cross my mind. Who checks these roller coasters for safety and how often are they checked? Though it seems like there are very few fatalities on rollers coasters it seems to me one is one to many. These questions always enter my mind as I wait for an hour or so in line to ride on one of these metal giants.
According to Steph Solis (2013) from USA TODAY, “out of the 300 million amusement park visitors 37,154 people were injured and 35,977 were release and only 1,177 were admitted to the hospital or died”. So where is the exact number of deaths and why are they not recorded separately? Does anyone care just how many die at amusement park roller coasters or do we as consumers not want to know? According to Harris (2007) the odds of getting seriously injured from being in the amusement park is one in 25 million which odds in your favor are. Harris (2007) goes on to compare this to the odds of getting seriously injured in a car accident which is 15 in 10,000 which is much higher. According to the article, (What are the odd of dying on a roller coaster, 2013) “The odds of dying on a roller coaster are one in 300 million”. Ok so that makes me feel slightly safer but it doesn’t answer my question on the number of deaths alone that occur in amusement parks. So far the first two of my resources seem to try to make light of the odds of getting injured by comparing them to something more dangerous. In my mind more people own and drive automobiles so this is like comparing apples to oranges. I am still searching for my answer but so far all I am getting is the surrounding questions that try to make me forget about the deaths so I feel safer...
References: “A Short History of Roller Coasters”. (1996) Themed Attraction.com. Retrieved on 7/22/2013 from http://www.themedattraction.com/coaster.htm
Dessauer, Brain. (2008). Roller Coaster Deaths and Dismemberments. Purple Slinky. Retrieved on 7/22/13 from http://purpleslinky.com/offbeat/roller-coaster-deaths-and-dismemberments/
Harris, Tom. (2007). "How Roller Coasters Work". HowStuffWorks.com. Retrieved on 7/22/13 from http://science.howstuffworks.com/engineering/structural/roller-coaster9.htm
Puskar, Gene J. (2002). ROLLER COASTERS’ SAFETY SUPPORTED BY UNIVERSITY STUDY RESEARCHERS SAY RIDES DON’T RAISE RISK OF BRAIN INJURIES. The Free Library. Retrieved on 7/22/13 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/ROLLER+COASTERS '+SAFETY+SUPPORTED+BY+UNIVERSITY+STUDY+RESEARCHERS+SAY...-a092986518
“Six Flags roller coaster death: Safety bar worried victim, witnesses say”. (2013). MercuryNews.com. Retrieved on 7/22/13 from http://www.mercurynews.com/nation-world/ci_23707295/six-flags-roller-coaster-death-safety-bar-worried
Solis, Steph. (2013). How safe is a roller coaster? USA TODAY. Retrieved on 7/22/13 from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/22/roller-coaster-death/2574425/
“What are the odds of dying on a roller coaster”? (2013). Retrieved on 7/22/13 from http://www.asktheodds.com/death/roller-coaster-odds/
Weisenberger, Nick. (2012). Coasters 101: An Engineer’s Guide to Roller Coaster Design. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Pg. 34
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