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A Thrill Chiller

Roller coasters may not be as safe as we think

A 28-year-old California woman died of a brain aneurysm shortly after riding a roller coaster called "Goliath," according to this ABC News story. The Los Angeles coroner's office has said it can't directly link the death to riding the roller coaster, though.

It appears the woman may have had problems with her blood pressure before she suffered the aneurysm. "The roller coaster did not cause the aneurysm to form, but the stress and strain of the ride was probably a factor" in causing it to burst, says Scott Carrier, a spokesman for the coroner's office. The "Goliath" reaches speeds up to 85 mph.

The odds of getting injured at an amusement park are about one in 22 million, says the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, in this wire story on Yahoo! News. But that doesn't mean accidents don't happen. Just recently, one set of cars rear-ended another on a roller coaster in New Hampshire. And in Michigan, a sideways spinning ride called the "Chaos" fell from its spindle.

There are steps riders can take to protect themselves. For example, don't get on any ride where the operator isn't paying full attention, says this article from CoasterQuest. That means if the operator looks bored, is talking to other people while the ride is running, or is having lunch while the ride is in motion, you should probably skip that ride.

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