How Safe are You at the Amusement Park?

Since the death of Rosa Esparza on July 19th, I have been paying extra attention to amusement park safety statistics.  Rosa was a Dallas, Texas resident who was thrown from the Texas Giant, a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas (Dewberry, 2013).  It’s a sad story of a family at an amusement park expecting a day of fun and finding tragedy.


Here in Cincinnati, we have Kings Island Amusement Park.  It is owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in Sandusky, Ohio.  My two children (13 and 15) like to go there with their friends during the summer.  We have season passes and I am comfortable with dropping them off and picking them up later in the day.  I do not worry about them while they are there.  But how safe are they?

On the website Theme Park Insider, I found that Kings Island has had very few incidents involving mechanical failure.  That’s a good thing.  But it does happen, like the incident at Six Flags Over Texas.  On Tuesday, Six Flags announced they found no indication of mechanical failure.  They also announced the ride is reopening this weekend with additional safety measures, including seat belts (Dewberry, 2013).  I was curious to see what the investigation would prove.  This is what Six Flags came up with, “As with other rides in the park, guests with unique body shapes or sizes may not fit into the restraint system” (Dewberry, 2013).  Witnesses that were waiting in line at the time reported that Ms. Esparza complained to a park employee that she was not properly secured in her seat.  She was told, “As long as you heard it click, you’re fine” (Johnson, 2013).  The family announced, yesterday, they are suing Six Flags for at least $1 million in damages (Dewberry, 2013).  It is a tragedy.

So, how safe are you on a ride at an amusement park?  “The chance of being seriously injured on a ride at a fixed-site park in the U.S. is 1 in 24 million” (Vallee, 2013).  The author got this statistic from the Fixed-Site Amusement Ride Injury Survey prepared by the National Safety Council for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.  With odds like that, amusement parks are pretty safe places to enjoy a warm summer day, but accidents do happen.



Dewberry, D. ( 2013, September 11). Family sues over fatal fall from Texas Giant. NBC Retrieved from http://

Johnson, M. A. (2013, July 20). Witnesses: Woman falls to her death from Texas roller coaster. NBC Retrieved from http://

Vallee, J. (2013, September 9). Festival season is coming: Are carnival rides safe?. Southington Patch. Retrieved from http://

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