Trends: Accidents that occur during load, unload, or in queue

Accidents that occur while patrons are waiting in line, getting into a ride or amusement attraction, or getting out of one account for 15% of the accidents in the 2017 data set. Most reported injuries are minor, but some are not. Amusement rides are powerful machines. They can cause serious injury to a rider who stumbles into the wrong spot at the wrong moment.

  • Common causes - The rush to board can lead to accidents getting onto the ride, and dizziness from the ride's motion can lead to accidents getting off the ride. A little extra attention can prevent most of these incidents.
  • Expect the unexpected - There are few standards for the load/unload portion of the amusement ride experience. That gives designers freedom to innovate new experiences, but it also means patrons should expect the unexpected. Be on the look-out for features such as open space between the platform and ride, non-uniform steps, and machinery movement that can trip you up.
  • Restraints - Be careful when lowering lap bars and over-the-shoulder restraints so you don't knock yourself or someone else in the head, or pinch a finger in the mechanism.
  • Children - Pay careful attention to children during the load/unload process and while waiting in line. Their small size, impulsive natures, and lack of experience leaves them especially vulnerable.
  • Older patrons and those with limited mobility - Watch the loading process before riding. There can be pressure to hurry boarding, but don't try to move at a faster pace than is safe for you in that situation. Ask the attendant for extra help if you need it. Waiting a few extra seconds before launching the ride won't ruin anyone's day, but an accident certainly will.
  • Water rides - All patrons should take extra care when getting into and out of log flumes and other boat rides because the vehicles can move unexpectedly and throw you off-balance. Watch for slippery surfaces in the queue and when boarding water slides and boat rides.
  • Continuous movement rides - Some rides are designed to move continuously during the load process, creating more of a challenge as you step into the vehicle and adding additional risk to load/unload accidents. If you fall near moving equipment, you may be struck by the ride or catch something in the machinery.

Accidents that occur during load, unload, or in queue

The following tables show the types of accidents that occur during load, unload, or in queue, as identified in the 2017 data set accident reports provided to Saferparks by state regulatory agencies. Click on the accident category to view database information.

Source: Public records requested from state and federal regulatory agencies.
Regulated industry sectors, devices covered, and criteria for reporting accidents are different in every jurisdiction.
See the Industry-Regulatory Reports section for more information.