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Wild rides are as dangerous as fast cars

If you plan to make memories by taking your family to one of the San Diego amusement parks this summer, it might be a good idea to learn about the potential injuries that spinning, speeding and rapid direction changes can cause. It is also essential to keep in mind that the violations of safety protocols at these facilities and the inconsistency of regulations make amusements parks dangerous places. It is no wonder that thousands of people suffer injuries on amusement park rides each year.

Although soft tissue injuries in the neck and head areas of visitors are most common, more severe accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries, whiplash, spinal cord damage, fractured bones and lacerations -- similar to those often suffered in car accidents. Drownings and wrongful death claims have also occurred in the past, leading to civil lawsuits claiming mechanical failure, operator errors, and other forms of negligence.

Amusement ride safety tips

The potential risks should not prevent you and your family from having fun at an amusement park, as long as you do not lose sight of the potential hazards and the following precautions you can take:

  • Do not attempt boarding the ride if you are impaired.
  • Take note and obey the health restrictions, listed age and height requirements and weight limits posted.
  • Comply with the ride operators' verbal instructions as well as recorded announcements and posted safety rules.
  • Secure sunglasses, wallets, hats, coins, cell phones, and other loose articles -- not only to prevent loss but if such objects land in the moving parts of the ride's machinery, it can cause malfunctions.
  • Make sure you and your family keep hands, feet, legs and arms inside the cart at all times.
  • Make sure safety restraints are secure and do not try to loosen them or wriggle free.
  • Wait for the ride to come to a complete stop before standing up to exit.
  • Make sure your children understand the safety rules and requirements, and take particular care if they ride without you or another adult.
  • Never encourage or force your children or anybody else to board a ride if they do not want to.
  • Keep a lookout for unsafe conditions or behavior by others, and report it immediately to a manager or supervisor.

Amusement park rides are subject to inspections by safety authorities, and you can ask to see the inspection certificate if you doubt the safety of your loved ones.

What are your legal rights?

If you or your child suffers injuries due to no fault of your own, you might have grounds to file a civil lawsuit to recover financial and emotional damages. The laws that apply will depend on the circumstances of the incident. An experienced San Diego personal injury attorney can determine whether property liability, premises liability, or negligence caused the injuries. The lawyer can also examine the relevant matters to establish negligence and decide whom to name as defendants in a claim to file in the civil court.

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