Roller Coaster Safety Advancements

Topics: Roller coaster, Steel, Computer Pages: 2 (653 words) Published: February 28, 2012
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Fast Rides
Roller coasters are a thrill seeker for people for many centuries. People have traveled all over the world to seek the thrills of hills, twists, and loops. Roller coasters were first known as a sled that plummeted down a steep icy hill. The first roller coasters did not have any safety features which caused a lot of injuries and deaths. The rides are a popular attraction for people so their safety has to be ensured. Roller coasters have advanced in mechanical parts, safety devices, and computer technology to make it a safe for the ridership.

The first safety devices to be added to a roller coaster was a hand break for a coal car that ran on a railroad track. The next safety feature was running a roller coaster in a trough with wheels still underneath but side guides added to keep the ride on the track. This would even allow for the ride to get off track. Then there were side friction wheels was in the right direction but was not fool proof. The ride could still go off track and seat belts added to ensure keeping the passenger in the ride. Next, there were two sets of wheels on the roller coaster, a set underneath and on the side, along with lap bars, shoulder harnesses, and bucket seats. This advancement in the wheel ensured the ride stayed on the track through twists and loops. The wheels changed from plain steel, to the steal having a plastic coating, to urethane wheels. The urethane wheels helped in gliding the roller coaster faster over the track.

The coal car roller coaster went downhill with mules riding along in order to pull the ride back up the track. Some coasters had attendants who would push the coaster back up the hill. The invention of the chain hooked underneath to pull the coaster up and was a safer tool to ensure the return trip. The chain is an advantage for the uphill ride because it will lock into position and prevent the roller coaster from rolling backwards. The chain...
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