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Thrill rides and brain injuries
Message posted by Kevin Baxter (via on June 6, 2001 at 6:54 AM (ET)

Why was so little reported about the G-forces? They mention Superman going 100mph. Big deal, you can go 100mph in your car and it won't hurt you. It is around the turns that the Gs can get you. Superman's is a very slow turn upwards. Goliath's has many fast turns. That is where the Gs come in.

Germany is currently the only country that has a limit on how many Gs a ride can have. I think their limit is 4.5. I think Goliath gets up to 6. (Don't quote me on either number!)

When I am going on a new coaster, I go to their webpage first or somewhere to check the stats. If the Gs are too high, I am not going on it. You never know if you have an aneurysm. And even if you don't, rupturing something in there can be fatal. I know several people, including myself, who almost blacked out on Stealth at PGA.

I predict we will start seeing more deaths on these hypercoasters. We all know how the media loves riding a story until they kill it dead, so I have a feeling we will see so many that eventually any hypercoaster with a problem will be torn down and the Gs will be a serious consideration on any future construction.

Re: Thrill rides and brain injuries
Message posted by R. Boone (via on June 6, 2001 at 6:16 PM (ET)

A good point is made here about G-forces. If pilots in the Air Force or Navy have to undergo intense training to endure G-forces encountered in flight...what about the average Joe or Jane who gets on an inverted coaster like Top Gun which can simulate the same type of manuvers? I love Top Gun: The Jet Coaster, but I am light-headed everytime I get off of it (so are others). If a pre-existing condition is present, I can see how a coaster could pose serious problems. You really have to know yourself and heed the posted warnings on these rides.

A recent convert
Message posted by Anonymous (via on June 10, 2001 at 9:32 PM (ET)

I post often but I will remain anonymous for this one. I have always been a fan of coasters, I'll go on anything. However this weekend made mw think twice. I was riding the Shockwave at King's Domnion. And in the Helix half way through the ride, the upper left quarter of my vision browned out for a couple of seconds. I didn't get nausous and have never been sick on a ride. This was a real wake up call. I'm a healthy 26 year old, male. I work with stroke patients everyday and know the damage it can cause. Shockwave is not even that intense. (It's a fairly short "Stand Up" coaster.)

MY theory is that the g-forces in the helix caused a change in occular pressure, but I'm just guessing.

One thing you need to think about is you are not riding under normal circumstances. Riders are often exhausted, overheated, and dehydrated.

I used to scoff at the warnings, but losing some of your vision even temporarily is a real eye opener.

Re: Thrill rides and brain injuries
Message posted by Anonymous (via on July 24, 2001 at 9:29 AM (ET)

I received a very severe form of head trauma which I have to get injections in the back of my neck for. I've had an unsubsiding, sometimes dehabilitating headache for 4.5 months and its because I went on a simple motion simulator. I'm 24, bench press 260 and work out 5 times a week so you'd think i'd have just a "little" less risk being healthy and all. I "was" a thrill ride enthusiast until I figured out that these things happen all the time and the industry knows about it. Don't you think that if a warning was posted that said "Warning: possibility of head and or brain injury" people would think twice about riding something? I would have. The industry knows that this kind of thing happens but they also know that if they were forthcoming about the dangers that they wouldn't have as many people riding their rides.
1 person having irreversable damage because of a ride is more than enough cause to retool, if not completely rework, an attraction. If this was you or your child you would think the exact same way as no one should have to go through what I've dealt with for the last 4 months.

Re: Thrill rides and brain injuries
Message posted by Chrissy Kiehl (via on July 27, 2001 at 10:45 PM (ET)

Wow! I had to jump into this one! ...I have an annual pass to Universal, and I have had a few "dark moments" on Hulk and Fire Dragon. In fact, I don't even go on Fire anymore. I thoroughly enjoy Ice Dragon, but Fire, well yeah. You begin to black out on a ride and for some odd reason(please detect my sarcasm) it just makes you shy away from that ride again.

Re: Thrill rides and brain injuries
Message posted by Jeffrey Sheets (via on August 1, 2001 at 12:10 AM (ET)

Well, looks like this has gotten a little out of hand.
Here is the simple truth.
Coasters are reaching new levels of sustained G's.
Coasters are reaching new levels of sustained G's because people want more of a rush.
The people that ride coasters want more of a rush, the bigger and faster and taller a coaster is the more people want to ride it.
Parks need more people to visit them every year to stay in buisness.
We all want a bigger, faster, taller anything, its human nature.
...Until the manufactures of coasters and thrill rides are forced to display the ride forces that are generated on every ride. People will continue to ride, blindly
for the rush. I hope that you all can understand what i am trying to point out. Just because you paid good money to get on a ride, does not make it safe.

Re: Thrill rides and brain injuries
Message posted by Kevin Baxter (via on August 3, 2001 at 6:47 AM (ET)

Shoot, a sign with all that info would probably just be like a DOUBLE DARE anyhow, so it couldn't hurt them.

My biggest problem is rides that thrash your head about. Those are the ones that can really cause brain problems because your head may stop bouncing about but your brain is like gelatin in there and it takes much longer to stop shaking about. But how am I to know if my head is going to be used as a battering ram for the harness unless I actually ride it first? A properly designed coaster won't have this bouncing effect, even though they post the neck-and-back signs. (Those are more for lawsuit-prevention than actual informational purposes anyhow.) It would be nice to have such info available beforehand.

Re: Thrill rides and brain injuries
Message posted by Anonymous (via on August 3, 2001 at 7:51 AM (ET)

I'm not sure what the cause is which is why I came to this site. I have always been a lover of rollercoasters. Recently I have started experincing blackouts on some coasters. It is a weird feeling. First my face feels like it does when you stand on your head, then I start to see spots for a few seconds then next thing you know I cant see at all it is completely black. I do not lose consciencnes--just light-headed and loss of sight. This has happened to me on two coasters. One was Apollo's Chariot at Busch Gardens and the other on Superman at Six Flags. From reading the posts it sounds like it is from the G's but not quite sure what the medical term would be. Is it an anuerism?

Re: Thrill rides and brain injuries
Message posted by Anonymous (via on August 6, 2001 at 1:02 PM (ET)

To the person that posted they were experiencing blackouts while riding roller coasters. You should go seek medical attention immediately. I am not a medical doctor but I was an Emergency Medical Technician for several years. Having said that please take these comments in the frame they are offered and not as medical advise or medical truths.

The blackouts you are experiencing could be due to several factors, all of which need medical treatment. You wondered if you have an anuerism. You most likely do not because an anuerism is the weakening of a blood vessel, artery of vein, that eventually bursts. In fact, I believe anuerism is typically applied after the fact, when a blood vessel has given way and blood is leaking out of the vascular system. Once blood is outside of the vasular system several problems result. In the brain, swelling occurs resulting in loss of function in the affected area. If the swelling remains or continues to build, permanent damage is done. Should the swelling occur in a vital region of the brain such as brain stem, spinal cord, or the lower portions of the brain, then death occurs within minutes.

Blacking out due to any physical exertion is you bodyies way of telling you that the activity you are engaged in must be stopped. I would suspect, without examination or details on your body type, age and sex, that a heart problem maybe to blame. This could be a serious at the heart's inability to pump blood against the addition G-force loading experienced by a roller coaster, in which case this is telling you that your brain is not getting enough blood and therefore oxygen.

Please, whatever you do, stop riding any rides or exerting yourself strenuously until a physician can examine you.

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