How Safe are Missouri’s Amusement Rides?

roller coaster.jpgNow that summer is about here, amusement ride season is in full swing. Did you know that in Missouri, amusement rides must be state inspected to guard against wrongful death or catastrophic injuries?

In Missouri, What Amusement Rides Must be Inspected?

Defective amusement rides can be very dangerous. That’s why Missouri’s Division of Fire Safety is charged with overseeing the safety of amusement rides operated within the state. The division’s amusement ride definition includes:

  • Any mechanical device that carries or conveys passengers along, around or over a fixed or restricted route or course or within a defined area
  • Any dry slide over 20 feet
  • Any bungee cord attraction or similar elastic device
  • Any climbing wall over 10 feet in height with certain exceptions

All rides under this umbrella must be inspected by a state agency once every 12 months. If problems are found, they must be fixed before the ride is allowed to operate again.

While not considered an amusement ride, inflatable amusements, such as moon bounces, can be dangerous as well. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission earlier this year released the findings of its study of inflatable amusements. It reported 12 deaths attributed to inflatables, and estimated more than 113,000 injuries (treated in emergency rooms) from 2003 to 2013. And the numbers increased steadily each year during that time period.

Percentage-wise, injuries from inflatable amusements in commercial locations were more than double those used at homes.

Not every manufacturer, owner and operator is as careful as needed in ensuring the design and operational safety of their rides. When avoidable mistakes are made with amusement rides, people can get critically hurt.

Regardless of the circumstances, if you’ve suffered a serious injury or had a loved one killed due to someone else’s negligence, you may want to meet with an attorney experienced in catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.