August is one of the most popular months for visiting amusement parks, but recent accidents have shined a spotlight on a long-debated issue: How well are these parks monitored when it comes to safety? From rollers coasters to bumper cars and Ferris wheels, amusement park rides attract massive crowds, with an estimated annual attendance of nearly 300 million at the more than 420 fixed-site theme parks in the United States, according to 2008 data from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. How safe are the rides? "The likelihood of being seriously injured requiring overnight hospitalization on a permanently located amusement park ride in the U.S. is one in nine million," said IAAPA representative Colleen Mangone. You are much more likely to be killed by a bee sting, a snake bite, fireworks, tornadoes, electrocution and even dogs, than to be seriously hurt in one of these parks. [ Odds of Dying ] Accidents do happen, however, as reports of recent … [Read more...] about Killer Thrills: How Safe Are Amusement Parks?