Toronto Metropolitan University
1-s2.0-S0925753518311238-main.pdf (1.14 MB)

Global incidence of theme park and amusement ride accidents

Download (1.14 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-08, 17:28 authored by Kathryn WoodcockKathryn Woodcock

This study describes worldwide occurrence of accidents involving amusement rides. The study compiled and

classified reports in international media coverage for a one-year period, analysing event type, ride type, op-

eration type, and regional location. Media reports provided limited detail and almost certainly omitted some

events but remain the only publicly available data on a global scale.

Over the year, 182 accident events were reported, from 38 countries, of which 51 events involved a fatality.

Mechanical rides and roller coasters were involved in 87 events. Fixed-site rides (amusement and theme parks),

mobile rides, and waterparks were involved with a similar number of cases. The most common event type with

fixed-site and mobile rides was ride malfunction (63 cases). In waterparks, drowning or near-miss of drowning

was most common (27 cases). Just 11 reports involved improper rider action, 12 involved failure of reasonable

action, and 11 involved medical conditions or reactions.

Occurrence as a proportion of attendance was highest in Latin America, predominantly involving mechanical

non-tracked rides; water attractions predominated in North America. Lower prevalence of malfunctions in North

America suggests value of professional development for mechanics and inspectors and strong regulation to

promote international safety standards.




Usage metrics

    Public Health and Safety


    Ref. manager