Last month, a state investigation into a 2009 roller coasteraccident at Knott’s Berry Farm that injured two riders hasconcluded that the accident could have been prevented with propermaintenance. The accident was captured by a video camera and shows a cablesnapping loose on the coaster’s zero to 80 m.p.h. launch. The coaster descendedback towards the station, sending passengers scrambling to get off.
Cal/OSHA blames both the theme park and the roller coastermanufacturer. The state found that the manufacturer’s maintenance manual forthe ride was unclear as to whether the cable that snapped should be inspected monthlyor every six months. Knott’s was at fault because it was 19 days late on thesix-month inspection of the cable at the time of the accident. Although thisaccident was the fault of the amusement park and the coaster manufacturer,amusement park owners say most injuries that occur on rides are the fault ofthe passengers.
So how do you keep your family safe on roller coasters thissummer? According to saferparks.org,the majority of accidents involving amusement park rides involve kids.Saferparks.org recommends the following tips to help make amusement park ridessafer for your child:
- Always obey height, age, weight and health restrictions.
- Don’t put children on rides they are scared of. Younger children frequently will attempt to get off the ride.
- Be aware of the limitations of the ride’s safety equipment, including the lap bars.
- Watch all extremities.
- Watch the ride with your child before boarding.
- Be cautious when choosing rides for your child.
Stay safe this summer!