Traveling carnivals can be hazardous to your safety

Traveling carnivals can be old-fashioned fun, with exciting rides, cotton candy, fun house mirrors and games of skill. But they might not be as safe as you’d like to suppose.

Unlike amusement and theme parks that operate at a fixed location, traveling carnivals often aren’t subject to federal and state safety inspections. In addition, carnivals are constantly traveling and their rides are taken down and reassembled day after day, which can increase the risk of human mistakes when putting the rides together.

Carnivals also move between different climates, allowing materials to shrink or expand, which can make rides less stable. And the seasonal nature of carnival jobs contributes to a culture of safety that may be a lot looser than you’d find at an amusement park.

Very few carnivals report their accident data, so it’s hard to know how widespread the safety problems are, but there have been some horrifying accidents. In Nebraska, an 11-year-old girl was severely injured when her long hair got caught in the machinery of a spinning ride called the “King’s Clown.” The ride operator failed to stop the equipment, and the girl’s mother ran to the control panel and hit the emergency button herself.

Last spring, a 16-year-old girl was killed when she was thrown from a spinning ride called the “Sizzler” at a carnival in El Paso, Texas.

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury at a carnival, it’s critical to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Carnivals pack up and leave town very quickly, and often loan rides to each other, so time is of the essence when it comes to investigating the accident and seeing who might be responsible.

Feel free to call us at 561-266-9191 or email us at should you have any questions or comments.

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