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How Common Are Injuries on Carnival and Amusement Park Rides?

 Posted on July 27, 2021 in Personal Injury

Grand Rapids MI Carnival Ride Injury lawyerThis month, a startling video circulated online of a carnival ride in Traverse City, Michigan that appeared as if it might tip over backward while in motion and fully loaded with riders. Fortunately, a group of courageous bystanders stepped in to balance the ride by hanging onto the front railing, possibly preventing what could have caused catastrophic injuries to those on the ride and the bystanders.


While no one appears to have been injured in this case, the incident has made many people wary of the safety of rides at carnivals and amusement parks throughout Michigan and the United States. You may be wondering just how common amusement park ride injuries are, as well as what you can do if you or a loved one is injured.

Amusement Park Injury Statistics

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) periodically reports on amusement park attraction injuries throughout the country. According to CPSC data from 2016, more than 30,000 people received emergency treatment for injuries sustained on amusement park rides that year. Fatalities are less common, though dozens of people have lost their lives over the last decade.

Causes of Amusement Park Injuries

Though the number of people who are injured by rides and attractions is relatively small compared to the total number of amusement park visitors, those who are injured often suffer serious complications. Often, injury victims can recover compensation from negligent parties whose actions contributed to the accident. Some possible examples of negligence include:

  • Improper assembly or maintenance - This can be a particular issue for traveling carnival rides that are frequently disassembled and reassembled on site. However, even permanently installed rides at amusement parks can become dangerous if they are not regularly maintained.

  • Insufficient inspection - Rides should also be thoroughly inspected and tested before they are opened to the public and after any incidents or safety concerns.

  • Dangerous ride design - Some attractions may put riders at risk of injury by the very nature of their designs, regardless of proper assembly and inspection.

  • Dangerous ride operation - Carnival or park employees who operate rides have a responsibility to keep them running safely, including by paying close attention to the ride and avoiding pushing the machinery beyond its limits.


Dangerous rides may injure not only the people on the ride, but also bystanders around it. Depending on the situation, injury victims may be able to claim compensation from negligent parties based on Michigan premises liability, product liability, or other injury tort statutes.

Contact a Grand Rapids Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are injured at a carnival or amusement park, Attorney John D. Tallman can review your case to identify any negligence and help you decide how to proceed. He will also help you gather evidence to support your claim for compensation. For a free consultation with our Grand Rapids, MI personal injury attorney, call our office today at 616-361-8850.









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