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Proving the safety on roller coasters?

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Does anyone have any good articles or data they can share on just how safe new roller coasters are?

The reason I ask is, I know they are extremely safe, and good parks like KI go to extreme lengths to make sure all coasters are safe and enjoyable.  It is considerably more dangerous to ride in a car, for example. 

After watching Orion and showing it to family, friends and co-workers, the most common response is "NO WAY" or "THAT'S TOO DANGEROUS" which we know is factually incorrect.  I'd like to enlighten my friends and family  :)

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

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 https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2018/january/winter-busiest-time-of-year-for-maintenance-crews

You can start by showing them this blogpost and video, that shows the lengths that the park goes to to ensure that their rides are safe and mechanically sound. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amusement_park_accidents

This page shows some statistics of ride accidents. 

In the end of it all, I usually point out to people that I'm 38 years old. I've been riding the biggest and baddest of coasters since I was roughly 6. I rode Vortex opening season. The worst I've gotten was a bruise, and that's because I'm an arms up rider, and end up bruising my upper arms on the OTS restraints. My odds are good so far!! You're more likely to be injured by tripping while walking to the ride, than you are on the ride. Your shoe laces are more likely to cause you injury than a roller coaster. 

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52 minutes ago, lifetimecoaster said:

 https://www.visitkingsisland.com/blog/2018/january/winter-busiest-time-of-year-for-maintenance-crews

You can start by showing them this blogpost and video, that shows the lengths that the park goes to to ensure that their rides are safe and mechanically sound. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amusement_park_accidents

This page shows some statistics of ride accidents.  

In the end of it all, I usually point out to people that I'm 38 years old. I've been riding the biggest and baddest of coasters since I was roughly 6. I rode Vortex opening season. The worst I've gotten was a bruise, and that's because I'm an arms up rider, and end up bruising my upper arms on the OTS restraints. My odds are good so far!! You're more likely to be injured by tripping while walking to the ride, than you are on the ride. Your shoe laces are more likely to cause you injury than a roller coaster.  

Thanks, I've said similar things, like riding SOB front row over and over back in the day, etc, and never got hurt.

There is literally more accidents, per person, in a weekend on the roads than there is all year worldwide on coasters.  They are extremely safe.  Some men you just can't reach, lol. 

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 A lot of people also go to that excuse to sound better than to say "ya know what, that's far beyond my comfort zone, I'm scared to ride that". I have a few friends that have extreme issues with heights, and won't ride coasters because of it. I'll take that (doesn't stop me from pushing them to face their fears and ride) at least they're saying "nope I'm scared of that", and it's a legitimate fear. 

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58 minutes ago, lifetimecoaster said:

 A lot of people also go to that excuse to sound better than to say "ya know what, that's far beyond my comfort zone, I'm scared to ride that". I have a few friends that have extreme issues with heights, and won't ride coasters because of it. I'll take that (doesn't stop me from pushing them to face their fears and ride) at least they're saying "nope I'm scared of that", and it's a legitimate fear. 

I'm horrible with slow/standing heights but coasters I love. Sure the lift hills sometimes make me question why I got on it, but the rest makes it worth a few seconds of anxiety.

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I as far as I can tell, the most common standard referenced for coaster safety (actually, all amusement rides) is ASTM F 2291, Standard Practice for Design of Amusement Rides and Devices.  There is also an ISO standard, ISO 17824-1:2015, Safety of Amusement Rides and Amusement Devices -- Part 1: Design and Manufacture.

These two standards provide the guidelines for ensuring rides are safe.

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20 minutes ago, PatchesC said:

I'm horrible with slow/standing heights but coasters I love. Sure the lift hills sometimes make me question why I got on it, but the rest makes it worth a few seconds of anxiety.

I used to be terrified of heights... then I bought a house. Having to get up on the roof to clean gutters, and having a few rooms in my house that have 2 story ceiling heights, and having to paint those rooms, has made me get over that fast. Now I have a few friends that call me to come over with my giant ladder to do stuff for them because they're too scared to get up there and do it. LOL. 

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Before you enlighten them, ask them what they specifically think is dangerous.

The trains derailing?

The trains colliding?

The structure failing and falling?

The restraints failing and a rider falling out?

Perceived Extreme G forces causing injury?

Hitting a bird in the face  (sorry Fabio)?

A personal reason (bad experience perhaps)?

Their answer may help direct your response.

 

 

 

 

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Strangely, I sometimes feel safer on a rollercoaster than I do driving up to the parking gate...

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38 minutes ago, Joshua said:

Strangely, I sometimes feel safer on a rollercoaster than I do driving up to the parking gate...

Or even walking around the park.  I had someone's phone fall out of Max Air at CP while I was walking below.  Phone hit the ground 6 inches from my shoe and exploded into many pieces.  Glad it didn't hit me!

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I did not read all the replies and maybe someone has said this but it is FAR less expensive to maintain the rides to a very high safety standard than to have an accident. An accident not only cost money for injury, it costs far more in the reputation of not being a safe park. An amusement park could never exist if they were as dangerous as non riders claimed they were.  

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 One of the things that I have trouble grasping is people being terrified to ride roller coasters. I actually don't really understand it. They are indeed safe. It's a very controlled situation... controlled chaos, but it's controlled. Maybe I have a warped sense of things, because I've been doing this for the majority of my life, but I just don't understand it. It seems like every time I hit the park, I hear someone arguing with someone in their group trying to get them to ride Diamondback. I have on numerous occasion stopped and mentioned it is the smoothest coaster in the park, and not to let the height scare you because it is far and beyond one of the best experiences in the park. Then I get to talking to them, and they've been on Vortex, Beast, and sometimes even Banshee, but are terrified of Diamondback. I always ask them, so you've ridden what in its day was a record setting Arrow Looper, and you're afraid of something because it's tall? I'm at about an 80% success rate of talking people into Diamondback. Of those times, I've ridden in a row near the person, and asked them after the ride what they thought, and most of them end up really enjoying it. 

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Amusement park accidents have increased as social media has increased.

Yeah, it sounds dumb, but think about it.  How many videos/ pics have we seen of a coaster being evacuated on the lift hill & have it described as an "accident" in the past decade?  

Many don't understand that a coaster being evacuated is likely due to the safety measures put into place.  Is a car broken down on the side of the road considered an "accident"?

There will be amusement park accidents.  Trying to explain why it happens to a person/ group of people who are "headline trolls" (my definition of those who only read the headline as fact and refuse to read the actual story then argue that the headline IS the story) is impossible.

Then there are many contributing factors: pre-existing injury, ride/ park location (in USA or in 3rd world country), moving carnival or stationary ride etc.  Many do not want to hear those things simply because they don't understand them.

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Very good points, thanks everyone for sharing.

My issue is not that people are afraid of them (for a variety of reasons, most I disagree with but respect).  It's when people refuse to see obvious facts about just how safe and, as @lifetimecoaster mentioned, controlled.  There is little"controlled" about, say, a morning commute on 75 for example. 

If it were some cheap carnival somewhere, sure, I get it.  But this is a billion dollar corporation...even the slightest rumor of danger (Son of Beast) could compromise the ride or the entire park financially.  The logic is so very ignorant. 

 

1 hour ago, Browntggrr said:

Yeah, it sounds dumb, but think about it.  How many videos/ pics have we seen of a coaster being evacuated on the lift hill & have it described as an "accident" in the past decade?  

Many don't understand that a coaster being evacuated is likely due to the safety measures put into place.  Is a car broken down on the side of the road considered an "accident"?

 

Excellent point!

 

On 8/16/2019 at 12:49 PM, Joshua said:

Strangely, I sometimes feel safer on a rollercoaster than I do driving up to the parking gate...

Great example.  I was almost clipped by an a-hole this past Sunday who sped past everyone and cut into a long line of people turning left into the park from the northern entrance.  I wanted to cuss him out but couldn't with all my kids in the car.  That was far closer than anything inside the park. 

 

On 8/16/2019 at 12:26 PM, Buckeye Brad said:

Before you enlighten them, ask them what they specifically think is dangerous.

The trains derailing?

The trains colliding?

The structure failing and falling?

The restraints failing and a rider falling out?

Perceived Extreme G forces causing injury?

Hitting a bird in the face  (sorry Fabio)?

A personal reason (bad experience perhaps)?

Their answer may help direct your response.

 

 Great way to break it down as well, thanks.

 

 

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The safety stories that always make the hair stand on the back of my neck typically consist of:

"I was on x-ride & the kid never check my kid's restraint.  It was up all the way up and I put it down just before going down the hill.  I haven't been to x-park in years because they are unsafe & I'm never going back.  The lines were too long and it was too hot.  The cost of getting in is horrible and they charge for parking.  The parking lot was full and we got there at noon and had to leave at 6:00pm because I have to work in the morning."

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10 hours ago, lifetimecoaster said:

 One of the things that I have trouble grasping is people being terrified to ride roller coasters. I actually don't really understand it. They are indeed safe. It's a very controlled situation... controlled chaos, but it's controlled. Maybe I have a warped sense of things, because I've been doing this for the majority of my life, but I just don't understand it. It seems like every time I hit the park, I hear someone arguing with someone in their group trying to get them to ride Diamondback. I have on numerous occasion stopped and mentioned it is the smoothest coaster in the park, and not to let the height scare you because it is far and beyond one of the best experiences in the park. Then I get to talking to them, and they've been on Vortex, Beast, and sometimes even Banshee, but are terrified of Diamondback. I always ask them, so you've ridden what in its day was a record setting Arrow Looper, and you're afraid of something because it's tall? I'm at about an 80% success rate of talking people into Diamondback. Of those times, I've ridden in a row near the person, and asked them after the ride what they thought, and most of them end up really enjoying it. 

Just from talking to my 10yo niece version. She's afraid she would fall out of coasters that go upside down and someone tricked her into riding one without telling her. She was more freaked out it was a lap bar only and freaked. Think there might be alot of instances like that that stay with people more than it should.

My 10yo is so far only leary about having to be evacuated from high up because that would mean the restraints have to be released, but it's not enough to keep her from riding. 

4 hours ago, Browntggrr said:

The safety stories that always make the hair stand on the back of my neck typically consist of:

"I was on x-ride & the kid never check my kid's restraint.  It was up all the way up and I put it down just before going down the hill. 

There's no way I'm the only one that doesn't let their kid ride alone unless they can secure their own restraints properly. Sure I trust operators to do proper checks, but gotta take care of yourself too. That whole "rider responsibility" thing some ppl overlook :rolleyes: 

BTW the second of confusion for FoF restraint belt was hilarious 1st time, but glad I was there for it.

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23 hours ago, lifetimecoaster said:

 One of the things that I have trouble grasping is people being terrified to ride roller coasters. I actually don't really understand it. 

I think it's the same reason why some people don't watch scary movies. They're afraid. Of course, to you or I, we know that's the point, that's what makes it exciting. But to others, they just can't take that fear. 

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12 minutes ago, Joshua said:

I think it's the same reason why some people don't watch scary movies. They're afraid. Of course, to you or I, we know that's the point, that's what makes it exciting. But to others, they just can't take that fear. 

 You're not wrong. I think I'm just one of those odd people that has been desensitized to a lot of things. I don't find haunted house attractions even remotely frightening, but love going to them to see the production that the company does. I've driven some incredibly fast cars down a drag strip on way too small of a tire to make the power safe. I get on a mountain bike, and take the craziest lines through the woods. Love riding off of drops, and love riding off of jumps. Getting on a roller coaster is one of the most controlled situations that I do for a hobby!! Of all of my hobbies, the least likely to hurt me at all is the roller coasters. That being said, facing fears in life brings a lot of excitement to your life, and more should entertain the idea!!

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6 minutes ago, shizzzon said:

I know you're being facetious with that statement, however, my fear is that there will come a time, probably after we're all too old to ride anymore where the coasters will all be torn down because of these fears. I'm getting old enough now that I'm bruised and often sore after a 12 hour riding marathon.... that being said, I don't see it as a bad thing. Comes with the territory of being almost 40 and still doing kid stuff. 

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28 minutes ago, lifetimecoaster said:

I know you're being facetious with that statement, however, my fear is that there will come a time, probably after we're all too old to ride anymore where the coasters will all be torn down because of these fears. I'm getting old enough now that I'm bruised and often sore after a 12 hour riding marathon.... that being said, I don't see it as a bad thing. Comes with the territory of being almost 40 and still doing kid stuff. 

I'm 37. Currently, the difference I have now vs a teenager is-

 

I have to stay hydrated more and I take 1 aleve the morning of or I chance getting very bad headache after 6+hrs.

 

Water park- I dont like any body slides as they give me rash burn

19 minutes ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

I have talked to many couples in their upper 60's in line for MT, DB, and Beast. I want to be them when I get that age. Retire and go to KI.

We see many people in this age group and older at CP and makes me wonder how? I'm not talking about enduring pain but at that age, the conditions people typically get, doctors would prohibit theme park rides a good idea.

 

I did witness a man in his 60s ride Rougarou and when he returned, they had to shut the ride down as he had blood draining from his forehead and ear. He was yelling, cursing about how rough it was.

 

There are many rough rides and not knowing the tricks on how to lean and brace yourself certain ways can be quite painful.

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