There is nothing more fun in Orlando than to walk into a theme park, strap yourself into a ride, and be propelled along a massive metal beast. When everything goes well, these fevered creations of brilliant (but possibly mad) men can create an afternoon of joy and thrills. Sometimes, however, these rides prove to be just as dangerous as they look. The safety of these rides depends on how well trained the staff is, and how dedicated they are to performing appropriate maintenance when it becomes necessary.
As such, when going to a theme park, be sure to look for the following that would tell you the park you are going to is more likely than not to spell disaster for your family.
Bad Reviews Online
Before ever visiting the amusement park, be sure to find reviews online for the park in question. It is expected that even the best park may have a few bad reviews: what you are looking for is consistency in these reviews. Do people report a common problem with a particular attraction? Is there a monthly, almost weekly report of a poorly maintained ride, injury, or other events that send up red flags? If you notice a frequent chorus of various people all saying the same thing, then you should reconsider your vacation plans and opt for someplace safer.
Frequent Cracks and Broken Flooring
When you arrive at the park, take a look at the ground and see how well it is maintained. Not only is this wise to help prevent slips or other injury, but it will also give you a good idea of how much the owners care about maintenance. Some damage is, of course, to be expected in such a busy place, but most establishments will mark such damage to warn visitors and make prompt repairs. If they cannot be bothered to do even this much, what are the odds that they are more careful with a complex piece of machinery like a roller coaster?
Broken Parts, Sounds of Poor Maintenance
When standing in line, sometimes the best way to determine a ride’s safety is to watch and listen. Broken parts lying around should be a massive red flag. Even more damning are the sounds coming from the ride itself. Do you hear clearly abnormal sounds like metal grinding on metal? If so, you should question the quality of the ride systems and safety measures, and consider going elsewhere for the day.
Even the best-maintained thrill rides can become deathtraps when poorly operated. As such, be sure you see what the staff is doing. Are they checking the restraints of every rider before starting? Does the operator go through safety checks every time the ride is started or does he seem to rush things along? Are children scrutinized to ensure they are of appropriate height before being permitted to ride? These are things you see at every professionally managed and maintained amusement park, and such procedures exist for a very good reason. Thrill rides often inflict high G-forces on passengers, forces that could propel one from the vehicle or at least cause serious injury if restraints are not in place. In addition, if you are traveling with family, would you want your children to be endangered because an attendant decided to ignore the height requirement?
Lack of Clear Signage
You’ve probably noticed that theme parks will have signs everywhere: safety notices on the rides, height warnings, areas marked out as restricted. These are there for a very good reason. You cannot be expected to know instinctively which areas of a park are safe, or the exact pressures a ride will put on your body before you have experienced it. Most park operators understand this, will post signs listing who should and should not ride, and ask guests to keep out of certain areas where they are at risk of being injured by moving parts. If the park you’re at does not invest in such notices, how can you be sure of what is safe and what is not?
When heading out for a day of fun, your safety is important. With the rising costs of health care, you cannot afford to suffer the costs of injury or lost wages because of the negligence of another. If a park appears to be unsafe, then get out as quickly as possible. On the other hand, if a park seems to be safe, and you or a family member still suffers injuries, you are entitled to some form of compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney will be there for you to make sure that any resulting medical bills are covered by the party responsible for your accident.theme parks