I am doing a feature story for a class at my university and I chose roller coaster safety as my topic. I have to interview at least three people, two of which need to be "professionals". I am researching roller coaster safety, do any of you know reliable statistics or the sources for those statistics? There is not much on the internet besides opinions, unless I am missing something. This may be a long shot, but if any of you perhaps work for a roller coaster designer/manufacturer, or work at a chain or park where reporting the safety statistics of that park isn't confidential, the help would be greatly appreciated.
Contacting companies directly will most likely give you a better chance finding "professionals."
Also, check out rideaccidents.com. I don't know if they have statistics, but there is so much objective information on there...you'll get a lot from there.
^ I wouldn't call anything on that website objective, considering they just post whatever garbage anyone emails them without actually verifying if any of it is actually true. It's sort of like Fox News for amusement parks. :)
Try contacing whatever agencies that handle ride inspections. I belive in many areas, that falls to the Dept. of Agriculture or the Dept of Saftey.
Well, I am interviewing a safety and maintenance manager here at BGA to add the humanistic aspect to the story, along with interviewing a psychologist to to help explain (in a precise way) why people find theme parks and roller coasters as a stress release mechanism, especially in tough times.
The thing with the companies is either 1. their information is subjective and altered and/or 2. their information is confidential and can't be shared with me.
And Hopman, thanks. I will try and see what I can do about the Dept. of Agriculture or Safety. I didn't even think of interviewing the ride inspectors.
I'm glad to help, and I hope you ace your report.
Go to saferparks.org. That site also lacks the aggregate numbers you are looking for, but there are some really useful resources there. First, there is a database of lots and lots of ride accidents that have been reported to the site. That includes some State data from certain cooperating states, and some data sent directly to the site. The webmaster there is quick to point out that her data is far from comprehensive, but it is one of the most complete resources on the Internet. The other particularly useful tool there is a state-by-state index that will tell you what kind of ride regulation exists in the state, and who is responsible for handling it.
Someone also recommended rideaccidents.com, which is useful, except that it is mostly just a news aggregation site. So if an incident didn't make the news, it won't show up there (mostly). But it's a good resource to see what is going on in the industry, accident-wise.
Finally, to get the official industry numbers, you'll want to contact IAAPA. Of course, those numbers will be slanted one way, so you might also want to contact the CPSC to get numbers that are slanted the other way. If you want objective numbers...well, keep dreaming. :)
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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