10,000 people sent to emergency room last year????

Friday, August 24, 2001 11:02 AM
I was watching Good Morning America on ABC this morning, and they had a little spot on how the Consumer Products Safety Commission has released a report saying that over 10,000 people were sent to the emergency room last year as a result of Amusement Park rides?  Could this number be accurate???

What do y'all think?

Friday, August 24, 2001 11:05 AM
Soggy's avatar I would like to see some proof of that.
"X" marks the spot in 2001!
Friday, August 24, 2001 11:06 AM
Couldn't find anything on the ABC site...
Apparently this includes numbers from both fixed site and moveable rides...

*** This post was edited by du8die on 8/24/2001. ***

Friday, August 24, 2001 11:17 AM
you have to remember that its not just from ride injuries. people pass out on rides, get heat stroke etc. even with those added in, 10,000 people is still a lot.

1)Raging Bull 2)V2 3)Alpengeist

Friday, August 24, 2001 12:06 PM
Here's a link...it was in today's Chicago Tribune.



"It's Deja Vu all over again." - Yogi Berra

Friday, August 24, 2001 12:16 PM
I read a report today saying that was the number of people injuired at amusement parks last year. You have to take into consideration, all the people who blately ignore the warning signs and decide to ride the rides anyways. People who are probably already sick at the park, get overheated, so on, and so forth. The media has nothing better to report on so they go after something that is fun and exciting to get ratings. I mean Senators and Actors killing people gets so old after a while so they attack anything they can.
Friday, August 24, 2001 12:44 PM
Another important point...

The "riders injured on amusement rides" figure is a statistical estimate made by sampling 100 hospital emergency rooms across the country, then applying a statistical factor to estimate a total for the entire country. If you are trying to estimate the number of people injured doing something actively dangerous, that kind of an estimate can be moderately useful. On the other hand, when you are talking about activities in which people are not injured very often, the numbers get terribly skewed when you start applying statistical multipliers.

It's very much like the study earlier this season that identified tea cosies as particularly dangerous in the UK.

The bottom line is that the trending data may be reasonable, and the order of magnitude might be about right ("thousands of people"), but the actual number is almost certainly wrong.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Friday, August 24, 2001 1:57 PM
janfrederick's avatar Well, 10,000 seems like a nice round number anyway. ;) I wonder how that stacks up to other large public gatherings like malls or baseball games.

The figure is not surprising. Working at a park for a few years exposed me to several accidents. I was injured twice, once by a ride, and once by a balloon (long story, but involved a trip to the hospital). Also watched my mother attend to a woman who was severely injured when an iron gate fell off the second level of the Columbia Carrousel and landed on her head.

But, as an operator, safety was pounded into our heads (no pun intended). I really think Parks do all they can to keep everyone safe. They know the media would love nothing more than for something to feed off of.

Yeeee Haaawwww!

Friday, August 24, 2001 2:20 PM
1) The actual number that the CPSC attributes to rides at amusement parks is 6590 emergency room visits.
2) This includes all injuries down to the BoBo level that are sent to emergency rooms.
3) Attendance at amusement parks was about 300,000,000.  This gives you about one chance in 50,000 of taking a trip to an emergency room by the government's data.
4) The CPSC admits that the data has a very low accuracy.  I think it's something like +-50%.
5) The sampling method used is faulty and really makes the data valuless.  In fact they are most probably looking at data from only 4 parks.  This is not a statistically significant sample.
6) In fact the increase in injuries that they have reported in recent years is entirely due to admissions at only 1 emergency room!
In other words, the CPSC's data is a bunch on meaningless bull.  I would be curious to see some meaningful data, but this isn't it.
The number of deaths reported is accurate since every individual death on an amusement ride is recorded these days.  However, the total number of deaths is so small that it is impossible to determine trends.

*** This post was edited by Jim Fisher on 8/24/2001. ***

Friday, August 24, 2001 3:50 PM
janfrederick's avatar Very well put.

As was very apparent after my college stat class, even with decent sampling techniques, numbers are easily tweaked. But even if only one hospital was sampled, the data would have been much more meaningful if compared to other reasons for visits to the same hospital.

Yeeee Haaawwww!

*** This post was edited by janfrederick on 8/24/2001. ***

Friday, August 24, 2001 4:13 PM
Here's an interesting bit from the CPSC's report. 

"From 1993 through 2000, the estimated number of inflatable attraction-related injuries increased from 850 to 1,918, a statistically significant increase." 


Inflatable attraction...those moon bouncers, accounted for almost 20% of the total injuries that they claim occurred last year.


Also, as someone stated above, their margin of error is insane.  See this quote (p. 7)

"An estimated total of 10,580 +/- 5,260 hospital emergency room-treated injuries occurred in 2000.  The statistical margin of error is about 5,260 for a 95% confidence level."

So, in other words, their guess of 10,580 injuries has an error range spanning 10,520.  I am not saying that there was only 60, but the range of injuries, to give a result that could be considered 95% accurate is between 5,320 and 15,840.  Sheesh!  I could estimate that without spending millions of dollars to do this study!


Here is another interesting statistic found in page 13.  (Compiled by me.)  Women are 2.5 times more likely to injure their foot, ankle or knee than men are. 

And, here's a reason not to wear earrings on ride, but women are 15.29 times more likely to injure their ears!  (Both of these are based on estimated totals from 1993-2000.)

On page 14, it states that 27.31% of the injuries that occurred from 1993-2000 were abrasion contusions.  (i.e. scraped knees, etc.)

In Appendix A, it lists the fatalities from 1993-2000.  From what I can see of the 51 fatalities in those years, cases 2, 4, 6, 12, 14, 33, 37, 39, 51 were caused by rider error.  That accounts for almost 20% of the fatalities.  There were three other cases where the fatalities had nothing to do with a malfunction of the ride (heart attack, asthma, etc.).

"It's Deja Vu all over again." - Yogi Berra

Friday, August 24, 2001 4:30 PM
It's important to note that many of the detailed numbers that the CPSC goes into are based on logic like, "This type of injury happened to 2 men and 3 women in our sample therefore it is 50% more likely to happen to women than to men.
In fact the total number of injuries in the sample is only a few hundred.  The CPSC then multiplies the actual numbers by two hundred and something to get their estimated numbers.
The CPSC seems to have also reclassified water slides as amusement rides.  In previous years, I believe that they have not recorded accidents on water slides in the amusement ride catagory.  However, one of the two deaths that they list for 2000 was a child who drowned on a water slide.

*** This post was edited by Jim Fisher on 8/24/2001. ***

Friday, August 24, 2001 4:34 PM

janfrederick said:
.... the data would have been much more meaningful if compared to other reasons for visits to the same hospital.

There are tables available on the CPSC site that list the numbers of injuries and deaths for many causes.  As you can probably guess, amusement rides are nearly the least likely causes of death and injury.

Friday, August 24, 2001 4:40 PM
Another thing has to be taken into consideration. Most of those so-called 10,000 injuries are mider mishaps and the rider's fault. I bet that about 95% of all those injuries were the park patron's fault. Most of the injuries are because riders don't follw the rules, horseplay like standing up on coasters, and blantantly just causing trouble for the park. It is very rarely the park's fault such as mechanical problems and failures of brakes, such as on S:ROS at SFNE. The problem on Superman happens very unoften and there were only minor injuries. Also.... the stats like people said are bullcrap and are flat out inaccurate by 50% or so. Finally, that number includes carnivals and traveling shows that have mishaps alot and are not regulated or poorly regualted and inspection of rides can be poor at times. All in all, those stats handed in were taken from about 5 parks and multiplied by the number of parks in the US and that was the estimated number. Lastly, the parks surveryed are gauranteed to be major parks and major parks most likely have a higher accident probability because so many more people visit per year. The stats and media coverage is driving me crazy this year. This story was covered on MSNBC where I live in Maryland and the station kept talking about "how great of a person Ed Markey is because he is trying to save lives by federally regulating amusement parks." I wanted to throw up and was so disgusted by the stupidity the GP and media have about amusement parks and rides. MSNBC also said that amusement accidents have risen about 40% since 1993 where there were only 7,000 accidents instead of 10,000 accidents. There were so many fewer rides back then!!! Also, the media talked about how higher speeds and height affect the human body. A man talked about how the higher the speed.... the more g's are put on the body even though MF goes 93 and Mindbender goesabout half that speed and has a lot more g's. The man never talked about directional changes and Newton's Laws of Gravity that make a body want to continue in the same direction and when that direction is changed, forces are put on the body that cause those high g's. I just hate hearing completely wrong statements and facts that are wrong especially if it is on the news and is going out to millions of viewers who are now misinformed and become more and more frightened to visit amusement parks and coasters..... which in turn causes amusement parks to have less revenue and build fewer coasters for the enthusiasts out there, like us. I have let my anger out for the night, thanks. 

*** This post was edited by ACE15 on 8/24/2001. ***

Friday, August 24, 2001 6:14 PM
Even if 10,000 was the correct number, which I highly doubt is not, that means that you have a 1 in 35,000 chance of going to the hospital. How many people a year die in car wrecks? How many people go to the hospital in car wrecks?

Why doesn't anyone mention you're more likely to get hurt walking across the street, getting in a car wreck, and getting struck by lightning and actually sound confident about it? One show did mention this but then came up with, "...but how can they be sure?" Trust the freaking CPSC's reports!

I swear these TV channels are out to scare people away from coasters.

Friday, August 24, 2001 7:01 PM
This was in the Plain Dealer (Cleveland) as well. I think all the parks should pitch in and run a paid advertisement telling the truth about ride safty. Or IAAPA could do it.
Got a problem with RWB? you've got a problem with me! Rollercoasters are the secret of life!
Friday, August 24, 2001 7:34 PM
Bus, ACE15, the travelling carnivals are subject to Federal oversight via the CPSC! How can you say they are unregulated and uninspected? They're subject to more regulations than the big parks are...aren't they?!

Someone else (I can't easily scroll up the page with this client; was it you, Jim?) mentioned inflatables. Inflatables are dangerous, folks, and this season if you see one of those Titantic slides, I suggest you turn the other way and run like hell. There have been a half a dozen incidents on those things this season, some with kids pretty badly hurt. And yet, that doesn't make the news. Titan stopping at the top of the lift just as it was designed to do so that people have to walk down the stairs, that makes the news. Four kids sent to the hospital because an inflatable slide collapses, that's somehow not newsworthy.......

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Friday, August 24, 2001 7:45 PM
It wasn't me who mentioned inflatables, but one of the few things that does have some statistical significance is the fact that the number of accidents on inflatables has been increasing.  What I don't know is how much the exposure has increased for inflatables.  In other words, has the number of injuries increased because inflatables have become more dangerous, or has the number of injuries increased because there are many more inflatables than there used to be.  In either case I have serious concerns about inflatables because many of them are operated by fly by night outfits that don't know what they are doing, are not complying with state regulations, and don't have proper insurance.
Saturday, August 25, 2001 10:32 AM
Gosh, I hate to follow myself, but I have now partially reviewed the CPSC's report.  As I previously mentioned, one of the 2 deaths listed occurred on a water slide at a New England water park.  The intro to the CPSC's report indicates that water slides are still not supposed to be include in the report.  If they make this kind of error with 1 of the the 2 deaths they list, we can imagine how accurate they are in the rest of the report.
Saturday, August 25, 2001 2:46 PM
I saw last night that jay leno was talkin about it.

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