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Safety is the Amusement Park Industry's Number 1 Priority

  • Nearly 300 million people visit the approximately 400 amusement parks in the United States annually and take nearly 2 billion safe rides.
  • 61 of the 1,415 ride-related injuries reported in 2011, or less than 5 percent of all ride injuries, were considered serious, meaning they required some form of overnight treatment at a hospital.
  • The likelihood of being injured seriously enough to require overnight hospitalization for treatment is 1 in 24 million. The chance of being fatally injured is 1 in 750 million. (Based on an average of five rides per guest.)

Read the 2011 Amusement Ride Injury Survey to learn more.

One of the Safest Forms of Recreation in the United States

Activity: Number of serious injuries per million participant days (based on estimates from the National Sporting Goods Association)

  • Roller skating: 912
  • Basketball: 799
  • Football: 704
  • Soccer: 405
  • Fishing: 85
  • Golf: 53
  • Exercising with equipment: Nine
  • Playing billiards: Eight
  • Camping: Five

Comparatively, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the number of deaths on America's roadways in 2011 was 32,367. 

The National Weather Service estimates the chance of being struck by lightning in the U.S. is 1 in 775,000.

Safety Standards, Regulations, and Policies

  • Standards are set by the ASTM International, F-24 Committee on Amusement Rides and Devices.
  • ASTMI F-24 is comprised of consumer advocates, government officials, amusement park operators, ride manufacturers, and industry suppliers.
  • The committee helps to establish standards on design and manufacture, testing, operation, maintenance, inspection, quality assurance, and more.
    • These standards undergo frequent review and revision to keep up with new technologies, and have been adopted by many governmental jurisdictions.
  • Amusement parks are subject to state and local governmental codes, requirements, and safety inspections, and must pass rigorous inspections by insurance companies.
  • According to the CPSC, “The high level of expertise developed by state amusement ride officials and their willingness to share their investigative reports and their expertise have been invaluable in . . . preventing future ride incidents on a national level.”
  • Safety inspections are conducted by amusement park staff on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.
    • They follow detailed manufacturer guidelines for inspection and safety, and many parks use outside specialty companies to periodically re-inspect rides.
    • ASTM International standards require fixed-site amusement industry operators and manufacturers report both incidents and ride-related defects, including notification of facilities when a ride develops a manufacturer-related safety issue.

Partnership between Park and Patron

Safety is a partnership between an amusement park and its patrons.

  • A majority of the injuries occur because the guest didn’t follow posted ride safety guidelines or rode with a pre-existing medical condition that was aggravated by the ride.

Guests can help by:

  • Visiting the "Guest Relations” office to understand ride restrictions and how they relate to individual circumstances.
  • Review ride restrictions, rules, and guidelines on the amusement parks website prior to your visit.
  • Reading and following all posted signage.
  • Listening to and following all verbal commands at parks.
  • Review IAAPA's amusement park tips.

Safety Education

  • Safety is the amusement park industry's number 1 priority, and IAAPA plays an important role in disseminating information and providing safety education to its members and the industry as a whole.
  • IAAPA conducts Safety Institutes for its members around the world. 
    Locations of 2012 Institutes included: Dubai, Indonesia, Philipines, Hong Kong, Venezuela, and Germany, Canada, and Argentina.
  • IAAPA sponsors webinars and workshops for its member to learn the latest advances, standards, and techniques and share best practices with each other.
  • Ride manufacturers also conduct industry-wide safety seminars on a regular basis.

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