|Let's get one thing clear, roller coasters are statistically very, very, very safe. Think about it: Out of the millions of people that ride the thousands of rides every year, there are only a small handful of incidents. You are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident driving to the park than having an accident on a ride. Fact.
Reputable theme parks check all of their rides daily. The coaster track is "walked" and inspected as are all the other important elements, such as winch cables and chains. One slight imperfection could cause an accident, and no theme park wants that to happen. Strict Health & Safety governing bodies also have the power to close a ride, or park, if they are considered unsafe.
Having said all that, theme park accidents still happen...
Click "Source" at the end of each sentence for further information on other websites.
April - Space Coaster, Wonder Land, Japan
May - Rotor, Parque de Attractiones, Madrid, Spain
May - Frisbee, Travelling Fair, Toowoomba, Australia
May - Wild Bill's Runaway Train, Adventure Wonderland, UK
June - X-Scream, Travelling Fair, St Neots, UK
June - Rameses Revenge, Chessington World of Adventures, UK
June - Crazy Mouse, Red River Ex, Winnipeg, Canada
June - Skyloop, World Joyland, China
June - Tranan, Skara Sommarland, Sweden
July - Tagada, Travelling Funfair, Doncaster, UK
July - Shoot The Rapids, Cedar Point, Ohio
July - Texas Giant, Six Flags Over Texas, Texas
August - Big Wheel, Independence Park, Rosario, Argentina
October - Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Universal Studios Orlando, Florida
January - Van Huong Mai Amusement Park, Chau Phu, Vietnam
June - Pollydrop, Adventure Wonderland, UK
June - Tomb Blaster, Chessington World of Adventures, UK
June - Ladybird Coaster, Lightwater Valley, UK
July - Vampire, Six Flags La Ronde, Québec, Canada
July - Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure, NJ, USA
July - Trafikplasten, Furuviksparken, Sweden
September - Jet Coaster, Dreamland, Koriyama, Japan
September - Windseeker, Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, California, USA
November - Hollowell Steam Rally and Heavy Horse Show, Northampton, England
November - Fun Factory, Louisiana State Fair, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
January - Maihime, Tokyo Dome City, Japan
April - Python Pit, Go Bananas, Chicago, USA
April - Big Thunder Mountain, Disneyland Paris, France
May - Black Mamba, Phantasialand, Brühl, Germany
June - Dragon, Legoland Windsor, UK
June - WildCat, Cedar Point, Ohio, USA
July - High Roller, Lostock Hall Carnival, UK
July - Ride of Steel, Darien Lake, New York, USA
August - Excalibur II, Camelot, Lancashire, UK
August - Surf Rider, Bottons, Lincolnshire, UK
August - Dragon Challenge, Islands of Adventure, Florida, USA
August - Dragon Challenge, Islands of Adventure, Florida, USA
October - River Rapids, West Park, Wenzhou, China
March - Tomorrowland Speedway, Walt Disney World, Florida, USA
May - Crazy Frog, Travelling Fair, Barnard Castle, UK
May - Commander, Traveling Fair, Lüdenscheid, Germany
June - Monte Aurora, Terra Encantada, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
July - Miami Trip, York Carnival, UK
August - Tower of Terror, Disneyland, California, USA
October - It's A Small World, Disneyland Paris, France
October - Pony Express, Knott's Berry Farm, California, USA
Novemeber - The Octopus, Adhari Park, Bahrain
December - Thunder Dolphin, La Qua, Tokyo, Japan
April - DJ Jump, Travelling Funfair, UK
May - Tomahawk, PortAventura, Spain
May - Go Gator, Travelling Funfair, UK
June - Holiday World, Indiana, USA
July - Dueling Dragons, Islands of Adventure, Florida, USA
July - Monorail, Disney World, Florida, USA
August - Firehawk, Kings Island, Ohio, USA
August - Big Dipper, Pleasure Beach Blackpool, UK
September - Xcelerator, Knott's Berry Farm, California, USA
January - Titan V, Space World, Japan
13 riders were injured when the train stopped abruptly. Source.
January - Queensland Amusement Park, Poonamallee, India
An 11 year old girl died when two boats collided. Staff were arrested for negligence.
February - Kilimanjaro Safari, Disney's Animal Kingdom, USA
Several people were injured when the car caught fire.
March - Family Swinger, Family Ai Land, Nagakute, Japan
The ceiling of a chair swing ride collapsed killing a worker. Source.
March - Motion Master, Flamingoland, UK
A 2 year old boy fell through a hole in the ride's floor onto concrete 8 feet below. He suffered only minor injuries. Source.
May - Wildcat, Cedar Point, Ohio, USA
Two cars collided resulting in nine riders being injured.
June - Batman, Six Flags Over Georgia, USA
A 17 year old was decapitated when he entered a restricted area. News article.
July - Tagada, Travelling Funfair, Silverstone, UK
2 riders were thrown from the ride when the seating collapsed. Both suffered back injuries and bruising. Source.
July - Cobra, Tivoli Friheden, Aarhus, Denmark
Four people were injured when a coaster car broke apart.
July - Star Jet, Casino Pier, Jersey Shore, USA
A worker was struck by a car while attempting to retrieve a lost hat, and died later in hospital. Source.
July - Rainbow, Liseberg, Gothenburg, Sweden
This Rainbow ride collapsed, causing some riders to be thrown from the platform. There were no serious injuries, although three riders were hospitalised. The ride was later removed. Source.
Image from CBS News
August - Ninja, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, California
April - Extreme Racers, Legoland, Billund, Denmark
June - Rock 'n Rollercoaster, Disneyland Paris, France
July - Python, Eftelin, Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands
August- Octupus, Six Flags America, USA
August - Booster, Fete des Loges, Paris, France
November - Hellraiser, Travelling Funfair, Suffolk, UK
March - Atlantis Adventure, Lotte World, Seoul, South Korea
May - Orbiter, Moxley Park Fairground, UK
May - Train, Gullivers Milton Keynes, Beds, UK.
March - Storybook Land Canal, Disneyland, Anaheim, California, USA
January - Men In Black, Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida, USA
July - Joker's Jukebox, Six Flags New Orleans, USA
May - Batman The Ride, Six Flags Over Georgia, Atlanta, USA
May - Grand Canyon, Phantasialand, Bruehl, Germany
May - Batman Knight Flight, Six Flags Ohio, Aurora, Ohio, USA
March - Roaring Rapids, Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, Texas, USA
August - Paul Bunyan Log Chute, Knott's Camp Snoopy, Bloomington, Minnesota, USA
April - Wildcat, Bell's Amusement Park, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
May - Revolution, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, California, USA
June - Timber Wolf, Worlds of Fun, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
June - Kings Island, Ohio, USA
July - Log Flume, Great America, Santa Clara, California, USA
August - Cyclone, Astroland, Coney Island, New York, USA
June - Lightnin' Loops, Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey, USA
June - Mind Bender, Galaxyland, Canada
May - Cyclone, Astroland, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, USA
January - Matterhorn, Disneyland, California, USA
August - Rolling Thunder, Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey, USA
March - Willard's Whizzer, Marriott's Great America, Santa Clara, California, USA