Abstract 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 ide on one of these metal giants. According to Steph Solis (2013) from USA TODAY, “out of the 300 million amusement park visitors 37,1 54 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 ompare 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”. 0k 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 at the amusement park. My third source of information concentrates on the G-forces of the roller coasters and how this causes head injuries that could possibly lead to death but according to researchers at the U. f Pennsylvania that there isn’t enough G-forces to cause bleeding or swelling of the brain that would result in death (Puskar, 2002). I realize that there are signs in the park that you must be in good health to ride the roller coasters but there isn’t a octor standing at the end of the line before you get on to give you a check-up so unless you know you have a health risk those signs are meaningless. Are going to be required to have a note from our doctor to ride roller coasters?
Is this what it’s coming to? So this source concentrates on one type of injury and there is some concern that the roller coasters should be limited to how much G-force they are allowed but my question still goes unanswered so on to the next source. According to Dessauer (2008), “That with even years of research and safety precautions these rides can still be very dangerous and even deadly’. He goes on to give tidbits on the coasters really. So I’m not alone out there wondering where we draw the line.
How safe should roller coasters be and what is a realistic number of deaths a year that we would consider allowable? To me one death is one to many and I think that all could have been avoidable. Weisenberger (2012), talks about the ASTM F-24 committee and how they develop the minimum safety standards for everything that goes into building and operating a roller coaster. Do they know how many deaths occur every year on roller coasters? If anyone would know I sure they do, but I haven’t been able o find anything by researching that committee.
So even though I was unable to find the answer to my question I feel as if I am not alone as to wanting the real number of deaths that occur at our amusement parks on these giant coasters and why aren’t they being prevented. These questions will probably enter my mind every time I enter an amusement park. 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. m/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 DONT 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