Texas Carnival Ride Safety
Our Texas carnival ride injury attorneys note that the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), which oversees the state insurance agencies that have to pay the costs of injuries and fatalities that occur on unsafe carnival rides, is largely responsible for overseeing ride safety in the state. You may have noticed the TDI inspection stickers on rides and other things before without knowing what they meant.
Carnival rides owned and operated in Texas
Carnival operators in Texas are required to have their rides inspected for safety at least once yearly. When TDI inspectors have examined and cleared a ride, they issue a TDI sticker that goes on the ride.
For more information on what is examined when carnival rides are inspected, visit our FAQ page, How are Texas amusement park and canrival rides inspected for safety?
You could look for the sticker on rides before you get on, but a yearly inspection does not necessarily guarantee ride safety. Also, the TDI sticker may not be current. For example, a 15-year-old lost her life on a carnival ride near Victoria, Texas when she was crushed by a ride part that had become loose in 2008. It turned out that the ride was two years overdue for inspection.
Our carnival ride injury attorneys emphasize that mechanical problems could suddenly crop up at any time. Just as your air conditioner might suddenly fail in the summer or your car might suddenly begin to stall, so can a carnival ride begin to suddenly manifest a problem. An even greater problem might be ride operator inattention or boredom. Many ride operators are young people hired for the summer, who might not understand the full safety importance of their job duties.
TDI says that in Texas, approximately 150 people per year are injured on Texas carnival rides.
Make it a Habit to Look for Current TDI Inspection Stickers before you get on a ride. Our carnival ride injury attorneys point out that your efforts could help keep ride owners compliant, as well as assure you and your family’s own ride safety.
What about traveling carnivals, and rides which are owned and operated by companies out of state?
Traveling amusement rides, like those offered to guests at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo by Ray Cammack Shows, are continually assembled, broken down, and reassembled as they travel all over the country to various fairs and shows. Industry standards that cover traveling amusement rides state that these rides need careful scrutiny from inspectors to catch flaws and make sure they’re corrected before they lead to potentially fatal accidents.
Arizona-based Ray Cammack Shows (RCS) has said that they employ an independent consultant to inspect their rides for safety, and that RCS also conducts daily inspections of the rides. RCS employed Arizona-based RJC&A to inspect its rides.
Our Houston ride accident attorneys point out that good safety inspection and oversight activities involve:
- Examining assembly and re-assembly procedures for the rides.
- Training employees who perform the assembly of the ride.
- Training and supervision of the employees who operate the rides and on whom guests directly rely for their safety.
Safety inspectors and consultants also need to make sure that operators follow ride manufacturers’ specifications for operation of the ride. For instance, if the manufacturer recommends that all riders should be at least 42″ tall, the operator shouldn’t lower that height requirement to 36″. And if the manufacturer issues a Technical Service Bulletin (safety recall) on a ride, the ride’s owner and operator should take immediate action to correct the safety flaw or shut down the ride.
Welds and cotter pins that hold rides together should also be checked. Metal parts should be examined to make sure that they don’t conduct electrical current that could electrocute guests.
Operator control panels should not be easily accessible to guests.Our Houston ride accident attorneys remind you that a deadly accident at the Louisiana State Fair was blamed in part on an easily accessed and operated control panel that a young and mischievous child set into motion.
Injured in a Texas carnival ride accident?
If you or a loved one have been injured in a Texas carnival ride accident, feel free to download our free report, Danger in the Park: Your Guide to Keeping Your Kids Safe on a Roller Coaster.
The report gives you important information on how to help assure ride safety and prevent serious injuries. You can also contact us by caling 713-807-9500 or through our online contact form to schedule a free, no obligation initial legal consultation to discuss your specific accident injury. Let our more than 12 years of experience help you find your full financial recovery after a serious injury!