Riding Safe at Fairs and Carnivals

This is State Fair season in Indiana and surrounding states. It is an event that so many of us look forward to for corn dogs, cotton candy, and deep fried everything. Then there are the rides on the midway. That is where we offer caution.

Whether it is the State Fair, a County Fair, or another kind of attraction, it is important to pay attention to cautionary messages that should be posted near the ride. Heed weight and height limits and loose clothing, for one thing.

Sometimes there are mechanical problems, which no one can really foresee. These types of accidents are actually quite rare, but when they happen there can be serious consequences — or at least some very scary moments.

Just recently the Skyline ride at the Indianapolis Zoo was stalled, keeping riders high in the air for almost two hours. Fortunately, there were no injuries.

At the end of July, 12 people were injured in a Kentucky Amusement Park Ride.

Earlier this spring, three children were injured in Lafayette, Indiana, while on a carnival ride. Human error was blamed when someone failed to tighten the bolts in the ride properly.

It is important to follow Amusement Ride Safety Information, such as these tips as provided by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security*

• Don’t board a ride if you see broken parts, signs of improper maintenance, or an inattentive operator. Report your observations to the ride operator or call the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) amusement ride hotline at 1-888-203-5020.
• Every ride should have a prominently displayed current permit issued by IDHS. If the ride has no such permit, call the amusement ride hotline at 1-888-203-5020.
• Read all posted rules and listen to instructions given by ride operators.
• Watch the ride with your child before boarding. Point out the operator and the entrance and exit locations prior to riding. Make sure children understand the instructions and warnings fully.
• Obey minimum height, age, and weight restrictions. Never sneak children onto rides if they are too small or too young. A smaller/younger child may not be physically or developmentally able to stay safely seated.
• If you can’t count on children to stay seated with hands and feet inside, don’t let them ride.
• Keep all body parts (hands, arms, legs, long hair, etc.) inside the ride at all times. If you have long hair, keep it pulled up with a hat or hair tie.
• Always use the safety equipment provided (seat belt, shoulder harness, lap bar, etc.).
• Remain in the ride until it comes to a complete stop at the unloading point. If a ride stops temporarily due to mechanical failure or other reasons, stay seated and wait for an operator to give you further instructions.
• Know your physical conditions and limitations. If you suspect that your health could be at risk for any reason, or that you could aggravate a pre-existing condition of any kind, do not ride.

Chances are you and your family will have a wonderful time attending one of America’s great traditions – the fairs and carnivals that are so popular every summer.

Still, there are times when injuries at these events are caused by the negligence of a ride operator. If this is the case, Theodoros & Rooth can help. Call us or contact our firm online at trinjurylaw.com. If we believe you have a case, we will aggressively represent you from start to finish. There is no charge until you receive a fair settlement.