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Are the Ohio State Fair rides safe?

The Ohio State Fair is a much-loved and anticipated event. Unfortunately, this year serves as a reminder to many Ohioans of the tragedy that happened one year ago.

At the 2017 Ohio State Fair, a tragic accident occurred on the Fire Ball ride, killing 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell and injuring several others. The ride fell apart while operating, flinging several of the riders into the air. The cause of the accident was found to be excessive corrosion on one of the ride’s support beams.

One year later, as the Ohio State Fair begins, people are wondering if it is safe to ride the amusement park rides. Many are worried that nothing has changed, and that riders are still at risk.

The same ride vendor, Amusements of America, is operating the amusement park rides this year. Additionally, Ohio still only employs eight ride inspectors for the state’s 3,700 amusement park rides.

However, Amusements of America did bring in third-party safety inspectors to assess each fair ride.

Nine months after the accident, Tyler’s law was introduced by state lawmakers, demanding stricter ride inspections and amusement park safety protocols. If it passes, would be more ride inspectors and operators in Ohio, and additional safety measures would be taken to ensure the safety of riders.

There is always some degree of risk involved when riding an amusement park ride. But what can riders do to stay safe – and what can parents do to keep their kids safe on rides? Here are some important safety tips:

  • Obey all ride restrictions: Height, weight, age, health status, etc.
  • Keep hands and feet inside ride at all times
  • Obey all safety instructions given by ride operator and posted on signs
  • Ensure that wallets, purses, hats, and other accessories are secured
  • Remain seated until the ride comes to a complete stop
  • Ensure that children understand and obey all safety instructions
  • Report any unsafe behavior by other riders
  • If the ride seems unsafe, don’t get on – and report it to a manger immediately

When an accident occurs, victims may be eligible for significant compensation. It is advisable to speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following an accident that occurs at an amusement park.