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Seeking thrills and staying safe on roller coasters (Rebroadcast)

Thrill seekers wear face masks as they ride the "Oblivion" rollercoaster at Alton Towers on the first day opening after after lockdown restriction were eased in Alton, United Kingdom.
Thrill seekers wear face masks as they ride the "Oblivion" rollercoaster at Alton Towers on the first day opening after after lockdown restriction were eased in Alton, United Kingdom.

While you may not be a fan of the heart pumping, adrenaline boosting feeling of a roller coaster’s twists and turns, for others, it’s the best part of the warmer months or even a core memory of their childhood. 

But recently, two roller coasters hit the headlines for less than awesome reasons. Riders at a Wisconsin festival were stuck upside down for around three hours after a mechanical failure. And a North Carolina man spotted a massive crack in a coaster support beam after his family had been on the ride.

So how safe are roller coasters? What makes us love them or hate them? And what’s next for coaster engineering? We talk with a coaster engineer, a thrill researcher, and a standards expert to answer all your questions.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Michelle Harven
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