This time of the year, families from all over are getting ready for their trips to Florida’s theme parks and family entertainment centers – Disneyworld, Universal Studios and Busch Gardens in Orlando and Tampa, or the Rapids Water Park in South Florida. Florida’s parks are filled with attractions, thrill rides and rollercoasters for the whole family. This week, a story from the Orlando Sentinel showed that as parks continue to bring innovative rides to us, amusement ride accidents are still a concern.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that a ride in one of Walt Disney World’s parks will remain closed throughout the summer, as planned maintenance was delayed due to an ongoing federal investigation of a fatal accident last year. According to the Sentinel, Disney extended the closure of Primeval Whirl, a ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, until September 14. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a 52-year-old mechanic who was hit by one of the ride’s vehicles in March. In November 2007, a ride operator was struck by a vehicle while loading guests and died days later. Disney responded by extending the ride’s platform and installing sensor mats.
We’ve noted in this blog and in previous blogs that amusement ride accidents can happen everywhere, even in the most notable theme parks. To help prevent injury, here are a few tips for your next trip to the parks:
• Read and follow all safety guidelines posted for each ride.
• Make sure you and your children are properly buckled and secured on all rides.
• Consult with a physician prior to your trip if you have any injuries or medical conditions.
• Let an employee/operator know if you have special needs (i.e. wheelchair access) before entering a ride.
• Research park websites and reviews to know which parks are safe and appropriate for your children.
• Always keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle/rollercoaster cart/etc.
• Do not wear any loose clothing which can get caught or tangled.
• Place any items or bags in the designated areas before entering a ride.
If you have been injured in an amusement ride accident, consult with an amusement ride accident attorney today.