Every now and then you can hear rumors that roller coasters are very dangerous. Many people are wondering if riding roller coasters can lead to concussion (TBI, traumatic brain injury) ? This problem was the subject of several studies and based on the following study “Head motions while riding roller coasters: Implications for brain injury” the short answer is No. Head injury research has shown that there is no scientific evidence demonstrating that high gravitational forces (G-forces) induced by amusement and theme park rides pose any risk of TBI. In addition engineering consultants failed to find a connection between brain injury and roller coaster riding. The Exponent study proves that the speeds on roller coasters may be high, but the g-forces of roller coaster rides take place in a short period of time and can be similar to everyday disturbances that people experience and they will not cause a loss of consciousness even for the people who may be the most susceptible to G-LOC (g-induced loss of consciousness).
The roller coaster experiment
The interesting thing is the way the experiment was conducted. There were 4 volunteers involved, three distinctively different roller coasters at a Six Flags Amusement Park including inverted looping coaster (55mph top speed), linear induction motor lunch coaster (rapid acceleration to 65mph) and tall and fast-non-inverting coaster with significant drops (tops speed 85) mph. The volunteers rode in the middle of the train. To gather relative data two additional tests were conducted: pillow fight and car bumper hit in to barrier (5mph). Pretty interesting, right ? And the results show that car crash has over six times larger impact on brain injury than the roller coaster rides. Moreover head acceleration during roller coaster rides are milder than those induced by many common activities.
Riding a rollercoaster after a concussion?
The other thing is riding a roller coaster after a concussion. A concussion is a brain injury and you need to be cleared by your doctor before you ride coasters, or any other ride for that matter. Therefore make sure you are well and there is nothing wrong with you before you ride roller coaster. You can also try ride something with a lower thrill rate.
As always Have Fun!