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Inj Prev. 2005 Oct;11(5):309-12.

Roller coaster related fatalities, United States, 1994--2004.

Author information

1
Bureau of Health, Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Augusta, Maine, USA. arp1@cdc.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the number of fatalities related to roller coasters and examine factors common to multiple incidents.

METHODS:

A case was defined as the death of a person, which was associated with a roller coaster in the United States between 15 May 1994 and 14 May 2004. Cases were identified from four

DATA SOURCES:

(1) Consumer Product Safety Commission, (2) Lexis-Nexis, (3) Medline, and (4) Safer parks.

RESULTS:

Forty people, ranging in age from 7 to 77 years, were killed in 39 separate incidents. Twenty nine (73%) deaths occurred among roller coaster patrons. Eleven fatalities resulted from external causes related to injuries from falls or collisions. Eighteen people died from medical conditions that might have been caused or exacerbated by riding a roller coaster; 15 were the result of intracranial hemorrhages or cardiac problems. Eleven (28%) deaths involved employees; all were caused by injuries.

CONCLUSIONS:

Approximately four deaths annually in the United States are associated with roller coasters. Prevention of roller coaster fatalities is dependent on establishing an effective surveillance system for amusement ride injuries, engineering rides to better protect both patrons and employees, improving training and supervision of employees regarding safety precautions, and posting cautionary notices near roller coasters for people with specified medical conditions. Further research is needed on roller coaster related deaths resulting from intracranial hemorrhages and cardiac problems.

PMID:
16203841
PMCID:
PMC1730261
DOI:
10.1136/ip.2005.008425
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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