According to estimates by the federal government, approximately 1,000 people are injured every year in accidents involving carnival amusement rides. It’s important to remember that fact this summer, as thousands of Californians head to carnivals in their area.
Most carnival accidents occur because of three reasons - malfunctioning equipment, inadequate state regulations and human error. There have been a number of carnival accidents in California recently. In July, several people at a carnival in Pleasanton were injured when a chain came loose from an amusement ride and struck several persons. At least seven people were injured. The accident came just a few days after a ride operator was severely injured on a roller coaster at another carnival in Petaluma.
The biggest problem with preventing these accidents and injuries is that there is little regulation, and even lesser oversight. Unfortunately, in several states, carnival rides are only inspected about once a year. It doesn't help that the federal administration has no rules that apply to all 50 states. For instance, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has standards in place for equipment, but has no oversight over carnival operators or companies. With no oversight or enforcement, it's easy for carnival operators to simply pack up their unsafe equipment and move to a new location.
In a situation like this, California premises liability lawyers would advise that riders keep their own safety in mind before they get on a ride.
Ultimately, you're the best inspector of a ride. If a ride looks or sounds bad, assume it is, and stay away.
Try visiting a carnival on a weekday, when it's quiet and when accidents are less likely to occur.
Avoid wearing clothing with hanging straps and cords that can get entangled in ride equipment.
Keep your hands and limbs inside the car.
Wait for the ride to come to a stop before you exit.