Insight into amusement park ride and device safety in the United States


Safety, safety devices, safety measures, theme parks, United States of America


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze the dimensions and practices that have shaped the safety of amusement rides and devices in the US amusement park industry. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides an overview and historical examination of key concepts and phenomena. Findings – The paper concludes that continued amusement ride and device incidents resulting from a lack of nationally accepted and recognized standards will potentially lead to or cause additional negative guest perception and possibly result in regulation from an external agency. This paper identifies areas of concern and makes recommendations to address the potential consequences resulting from staying the current course. It determines that the industry needs to find a collective voice and establish consistent self‐regulating policies in order to curb the incidents rates and avoid federal regulation. Research limitations/implications – The paper reports on several secondary research, scholarly as well as industry and government publications and personal communications. Practical implications – The safety of patrons visiting amusement parks has become paramount during recent times. Over the last decade or so, the amusement park industry has struggled with the fallout from numerous serious injuries and ride related deaths. This has generated a great deal of interest from patrons, media outlets, and politicians alike. With the continued operation of amusement parks and attractions and the competition of external entertainment options, it is important for the industry to project a solid and evolving image of safety in order to attract and retain patrons. Originality/value – The paper explores the evolution of amusement ride and safely in the USA.

Publication Date


Original Citation

Avery, B. & Dickson, D.R. (2010). Insight into amusement park ride and device safety in the United States. World Hospitality and Tourism Themes. 2(3), 299-315.

Number of Pages


Document Type




Source Title

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes






Rosen College of Hospitality Management


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

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