Fairs and traveling carnivals provide Indiana residents with plenty of fun and adventure, but there is often a dangerous underside to these events that few visitors see. NBC News notes that while inspections do take place, many are not as thorough as they should be.

When these thrill rides malfunction, those involved may suffer permanent injuries that may affect their ability to walk, speak or care for themselves.

Brain injuries

When amusement rides malfunction, they can toss their occupants hundreds of feet or cause them to fall onto pavement. The National Safety Council Research and Statistical Services Group reports that nearly ten percent of serious injuries take place on these types of rides and may cause permanent brain injuries, such as:

  • Skull fractures
  • Brain bleeding
  • Brain swelling

These injuries may cause loss of motor skills, the inability to speak and might even result in a loss of vision.

Spinal cord injuries

Amusement park rides that have old or poorly-repaired motors may operate unpredictably and cause stop-and-go injuries to riders’ spinal cords. Some injuries may affect these individuals for the rest of their lives by causing numbness, weakness or chronic pain. Whiplash may affect the neck and range of motion for those hurt on an amusement ride.

Severed limbs

Temporary rides that are assembled and broken down quickly for transport to the next town may pose a significant threat to rider safety when parts become damaged or are left behind. Arms, feet and legs may suffer amputation when these rides malfunction and debris strikes either the riders or onlookers.

Long-term carnival ride injuries are on the decline for both children and adults. However, the risk remains so long as safety measures are not followed correctly.