Luckily, Ferris wheels are pretty safe, when compared to other carnival rides. Ferris wheels are pretty laid back, there are no sudden drops, spinning, fast speeds, or crashing involved, but one major concern is the height and lack of restraint. Although Ferris wheels may not pose as much danger for small injuries, the types of accidents from Ferris wheels usually are falls, and usually are serious.
Causes for Accidents
A majority of Ferris wheel accidents and falls result from riders not following rules and restrictions. Falls can occur when riders stand up from their seat in the gondola, attempt to exit before the ride stops, or swing the ride back and forth too forcefully. Unfortunately, many Ferris wheel falls have also been a result of operator mistakes and mechanical errors.
In 2013, a man was killed on a Ferris wheel from a metal piece of the ride falling off and hitting him in the head. Similarly, in 2012 a young girl was struck in the head by a bolt that came off and killed her on the ride. Again in 2012, three teenagers were injured when their Ferris wheel gondola completely detached and fell. All of these Ferris wheel accidents occurred because of mechanical errors.
In 2005, a carnival worker was operating a Ferris wheel while intoxicated. Although no accident or injuries were reported, this incident could have been a lot worse if the worker had started or stopped the ride at the wrong time, or not followed the ride’s safety regulations. This worker was charged for operating the ride while intoxicated, and this is an example of operator negligence.
Regardless of who is at fault, parents should be cautious when letting young children, who may be less susceptible to following rules, ride without an adult. Many Ferris wheel falls have resulted from mistakes when young children ride alone. In one case, a young boy fell from the top of a Ferris wheel because it had stopped to let people off at the bottom and he got scared. When the young boy got scared, he panicked and tried to get out and fell. Other times, young children think it is funny to play around and forcefully push their gondola back and forth, resulting in someone falling out. If your children want to ride the Ferris wheel, make sure that they meet the height and weight requirements, and it is always best for an adult to ride with them.
If you believe that you, your child, or a loved one was injured by a Ferris wheel, especially if you believe it was the fault of a mechanical error or operator negligence, please contact us for assistance. Ferris wheel falls can be especially traumatic, if not deadly. Ferris wheel falls often cause physical, emotional, and financial hardship on the victim and family. Contact us to see if you deserve compensation for a Ferris wheel fall.