Panel to investigate brain injuries

Posted Wednesday, May 29, 2002 4:54 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A panel is being assembled by the Brain Injury Association of America, an advocacy and research group, at the request of U.S. Rep. Edward Markey (D., Mass.) who has taken on the issue of roller coaster safety and compares the competition to build ever bigger, faster and wilder coasters to an arms race. While some researchers want scientific data to draw conclusions, others speculate there's no good reason to avoid rides.

Read more from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 5:21 AM
Maybe they will find that it isn't the ride accelerations that cause injury, but rather the blunt head trauma from badly designed restraints.........

Sorry, I couldn't resist. It will be interesting to see what the panel comes up with.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 5:29 AM

Here is a similar story from LA about suits regarding brain injuries.

Army Rangers lead the way

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 5:33 AM
Way to go Douglas Smith!! A man who studies brains and thinks too!!!

Not All Coasters are Created Equally

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 5:47 AM
Dave may well be correct. Certain noted head bangers do seem to show up prominently on Markey's list of coasters that are reputed to have brain injuries associated with them. However, other similar head bangers do not.

I suspect that the result of this study though will be that brain injuries are so rare relative to the number of visitors that no real correlation can be established. *** This post was edited by Jim Fisher on 5/29/2002. ***

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 7:20 AM

What continues to bother me is that, without logic, Markey associates speed and height with G-forces. That relationship does not exist as we've explained time after time. Once again, Wildcat vs. Millennium Force... Wildcat is still the G-force winner at a tiny fraction of the height.

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin -,
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 10:56 AM
B&'s Anton Schwarzkopf Vs. Modern-Day Intamin. What would you expect? LOL!

-Kyle Brylczyk
KoRn - Untouchables, June 11th, 2002

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 11:47 AM

I saw this in the paper this weekend (I live just outside of Philadelphia). It makes me feel better about the whole situation actually!

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 12:50 PM

"...the more extreme roller coasters should post a warning: This ride could hurt your brain."

warnings for other things:

pencils: this writing instrument could hurt your eye

hammer: this hardware tool could hurt your thumb

stapler: this office tool could hurt your finger

Markey: this Senator could hurt your head

now lets investigate how those injuries can occur:

pencils: firmly grasp the pencil with one hand. the pointed end should be sticking of your fist near your thumb. thrust the pencil toward your eye.

hammer: firmly grasp the hammer with one hand while you place your the thumb of your other hand on a hard surface. raise the hammer in the air then pound the hammer onto your thumb

stapler: place one finger of one hand underneath the dispensor of the stapler. press down with the other hand on the top of the stapler until the staple penetrates your skin

Markey: try to make sense of what he says.

-Bob (formerly Coaster Jedi)
Knott's Berry Farm Cuba ~South Park
"Your proctologist called, he found your head!" ~Jerry "The King" Lawler

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 12:57 PM
Some people are sooooo obnoxious. Why the heck do you think someone would actually design a ride that could possibly lead to severe injuries??? I can't stand it, i wanna throw Markey off a bridge!!!!

"you give me the most gorgeous sleep that i've ever had and when it's really bad i guess it's not that bad" Underneath it all- no doubt

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 1:47 PM
Here Here!

Snoopy Rocks! On Ice opens on June 22nd

Think they'll let me drive the Zamboni machine?

Wednesday, May 29, 2002 3:21 PM
I think Markey is full of "malarkey".
Thursday, May 30, 2002 1:19 AM
how about putting him on millenium force with the restraints open?

i thankfull that that guy is only bul****ting in the USA, that way the record brakes will come to Europe and Asia ;) , but i think this guy has some serious brain damage, not the coaster riders. *** This post was edited by Madhollander on 5/30/2002. ***

Thursday, May 30, 2002 5:26 AM


While high G forces are not a necessary outcome of taller, faster rides, faster rides do tend to increase the duration of G forces. If you make a 90 degree turn at 80 MPH the duration is twice as long as it is if you make the turn at the same G's at 40 MPH. (The radius has to be 4 times as great at twice the speed to get the same G's)

This still leaves the design of modern coasters with much less duration of G's than Markey's space shuttle comparison. (A meaningless comparison by the way.) The designs are also quite safe, and I would be far more worried about a head banger or a coaster with rough track or poor tranistions causing injuries than a high G coaster.


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