Swing rides can be found at amusement parks and carnivals and consist of chairs that are suspended by chains and rotate. Swings usually rise up high and make the riders feel like they are flying in the air. Swing rides are one of the most common rides, found at almost every amusement park and carnival across the country. Sometimes swings can be low to the ground and rotate slowly, and then there are swing rides like the SkyScreamer at Six Flags that can reach 125 meters in height and go over 40 miles per hour. Some swing rides even tilt at nearly a 90 degree angle.
In 2013, an accident in Norwalk, Connecticut led to several children injured when a mechanical error caused a swing ride to stop suddenly. Because of the fast swinging motion of the ride, the riders started crashing into each other and 12 children were left with minor to severe injuries. The accident was caused by a loss of power, which can be a serious problem for rides that have carts dangling by chains that do not just stop with the stop of the rest of the ride.
Causes For Accidents
There are several factors that can cause accidents on swing rides:
- Height and weight restrictions not being enforced
- Ride operator negligence
- Mechanical error
- Poor maintenance or inspection
One risk of swing rides is that the safety bar and strap can be removed by the rider. Because swing rides at amusement parks and carnivals usually have minimal size requirements, young riders, who are riding in a chair by themselves, may get scared and panic. Kids who may not understand the importance of safety regulations may attempt to remove the safety bar and strap as well. Attempting to get off the ride and out of the seat before it has fully stopped can pose a risk as well. If a child falls or gets knocked over by another swing while attempting to get off the ride, they can suffer injuries.
Before your child rides on a swing ride, make them aware of the safety rules. Reinforcing the rules of staying in the seat, not touching the safety restrictions, and not getting off the ride until they are told can help prevent a future injury. No matter how cautious you are or how well your child understands the rules, accidents can happen. If you or your child has been injured on a swing ride at an amusement park or carnival, call and speak with an attorney to get assistance on the injury and get the help that you need.