Bumper cars are a firm favorite with families at amusement parks and fairs. They’re not fast with the illusion of danger like roller coasters. They’re not dizzy-making like the Tilt-A-Whirl. Instead, it’s a family-friendly ride that’s hilarity arises from intentionally banging into other cars. But are they really kiddie-safe?
Bumper Car Safety Concerns
- As a rule, bumper cars are safe, provided they’re properly maintained by the park. They don’t really go fast enough for the bangs and bumps to cause whiplash and once you and your child are securely strapped in your kid is unlikely to fall out.
- Occasionally, there are accidents but reports indicate that they tend not to result from negligence by park owners or ride operators. Instead, injuries are the result of people being careless and ignoring safety warnings.
- For example, people stand up to leave the car before it comes to a complete stop. The movement pushes them off balance and they fall out the car.
- Even though bumper cars have a good safety record, there are still things that parents can do to keep their children from injury.
5 Safety Tips For Kids On Bumper Cars
1) Obey height and age limits.
These are not suggestions; they’re there for a very good reason. The ride is simply not safe for kids who are too small to be securely strapped in. The bumps may also be too hard for young children who don’t have the muscle strength to withstand sudden stop-starts. Even if your child is tall for his age, don’t let them loose on the bumper cars.
2) Never let your child ride the bumper cars alone.
All children should ride the cars with a responsible adult or a responsible teenage sibling. The key word here is responsible. It’s no good if the passenger looks at their phone during the ride. They need to assume an active supervisory role. This means watching the kid so she doesn’t hang her arms over the side of the car, or try to stand up, or freak out and need to get off the ride now!
3) Speak up if it looks like there could be something wrong with the ride.
Tell the operator if you see something that looks wrong; for example, you spot a car with a seat belt or lap bar that is too loose, or if you see that some of the bumpers are worn or torn. Don’t be embarrassed to voice your concerns. It’s better to be considered a nervous parent than to have your child crushed between two or more cars. A responsible operator will take a look at the issues you’ve pointed out. If the operator pooh-poohs your worries, walk away. That kind of apathy might just extend to ride maintenance and you don’t want to risk that.
4) Respect the operator’s authority.
The operator knows what she is doing. She is intimately familiar with the ride and she wants to keep everyone safe. So if she says that the ride is not suitable for your child then don’t try to argue with her or threaten her into submission. She’s not being spiteful; she has your kid’s best interests at heart.
5) Teach your children that it’s ok to follow rules, as opposed to following the crowd.
You can usually rely on the presence of a few troublemakers who flout the rules and do everything possible to put themselves and other riders at risk. Point out how disrespectful and reckless they are and emphasise that your child doesn’t have to be a hooligan to have fun. Don’t be a complete kill joy, obviously, but take the opportunity to teach a lesson of consideration and respect for others, which includes doing everything possible to ensure everyone’s safety.
It’s worth noting that if you fail to follow the rules and intentionally or even negligently behave recklessly and someone gets hurt, you are to blame. You are liable for all damages. You can’t sue the amusement park or the operator, especially if the rules and warnings are clearly sign posted.
Take responsibility for your actions and your children’s, and that includes responsibility for their safety. Rather be thought of as strict then spend the evening at the hospital, waiting for your kid to get a cast for their broken arm.