(813) 223-6773
(877) 588-1778 (813) 223-6773 EN ESPANOL

Can Amusement Rides Cause Concussions?

Fiol & Morros Law Group|Posted in Safety on August 14, 2019

Concussions occur more often than any other type of brain injury. A concussion can occur when the brain sustains some kind of trauma, such as a blow to the head. It can also occur due to extreme kinetic forces. The gravitational forces in a car accident or amusement park ride, for example, could damage the brain and cause concussions. Although most concussions are minor traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), they can still pose significant problems to victims, including medical care and missed time at work. Our personal injury lawyers suggest, before going on a ride this summer, understand the potential risks of personal injuries.

Can It Cause Brain Injury?    

Many physicians, neurosurgeons and subject-matter experts have studied the possible connection between roller coasters and traumatic brain injuries. Complaints of head injury symptoms after riding roller coasters, such as headaches and dizziness, have led to discussions about the potential relationship. Studies have shown, however, that while the gravitational forces a roller coaster exerts could potentially cause a brain injury, the risk of TBI to riders is extremely low.

A study that compared trauma to the brain in a low-speed car accident versus a roller coaster found the former to cause about six times more damage. The study concluded the components that may cause a TBI on an amusement ride are even milder than those involved in many daily activities. Your risk of a head or brain injury is much higher while riding a bicycle, for example than on a roller coaster. The study explained the misconception surrounding roller coasters and brain injuries comes from the incorrect assumption that gravitational force is the sole risk factor for a brain injury. In reality, it takes a certain direction, duration and magnitude of gravitational force to cause a TBI.

Although the risk is low, brain injuries can and do happen on amusement park rides in Florida. While the human brain can withstand gravitational forces for a short time, longer rides may come with greater risks of TBI. Over time, the brain can lose blood flow, which could cause a related brain injury. Most roller coasters, however, do not impose gravitational forces long enough to cause a related TBI. Preexisting conditions can also increase a rider’s risk of brain injuries on amusement rides. A ride could aggravate a previous brain injury or preexisting brain aneurism.

What Injuries Could Amusement Rides Also Cause?

If you are a normal rider with no history of head or brain injuries, the odds are very low that you could suffer a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion on a roller coaster. You could, however, be at risk of other types of injuries. A trip to Busch Gardens or Adventure Island could potentially end in a ride to the emergency room – especially if the amusement park or ride designer failed to adequately protect guests and riders from serious injuries. Ride malfunctions, design defects and errors could drastically increase the risk of serious rider injuries.

  • Back injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Bruises
  • Drowning
  • Heart attack
  • Lacerations
  • Neck injuries
  • Stroke
  • Torn ligaments
  • Whiplash

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports over 8,000 amusement ride injuries that require emergency treatment per year, on average. This number does not include injuries sustained on inflatable rides or waterslides. About 50% of amusement ride victims are children. The age group from 10 to 14 is most likely to sustain amusement ride injuries. Some of the most common causes of amusement ride injuries are improper operation, mechanical failures and dangerous ride designs.

What To Do If an Amusement Ride Injured You

If you suffer a concussion or another type of injury during an amusement ride, roller coaster or waterslide in Tampa, you could be eligible for compensation. The owner of the amusement park or carnival could owe you money for your injury-related medical bills, physical pain and emotional suffering if a dangerous property element caused the injury. Otherwise, the manufacturer of the roller coaster could be liable. Filing a lawsuit against a property owner or product manufacturer may take help from an amusement park injury attorney in Tampa.