The death of Donovan Brashear, a second grader from Lee’s Summit, MO this past Saturday has once again underscored the poor safety record of hayrides nationwide. He fell off and was struck by the trailer being used for the hayride.  Donovan died in the hospital from the injuries he sustained. Like most hayrides across the country, hayrides in Missouri are not covered by the state laws that regulate the safety of other amusement rides.

Hayrides Are One of the Most Unsafe Amusement Rides a Child Can Take

NAFDMA (a farm agritourism trade association) research shows hayrides caused 167 injuries and led to 22 deaths, including the deaths of 14 children, between 2000 and 2019. According to their Essentials of Hayride Safety, their consultants, “…have visited very few existing farm operations that were safely operating their hayrides.”.  While the total number of deaths from amusement park rides is estimated to be around 30 in the same time period, millions more people ride amusement park rides every year than ride hayrides.  Per rider, hayrides are perhaps the most dangerous amusement ride a child can take.

Hayrides Can be Operated Safely

While NAFDMA rarely sees hayrides being operated safely when they first visit, there are many resources available to help farms run safe rides. Agritourism groups and departments of agriculture offer guidelines and checklists that, if followed, can lead to much safer rides for our kids. With proper preparation, safe equipment, safe drivers, and (importantly!) safe loading, riding and operating procedures, kids can have a fun and safe ride.

Transportation Safety Attorneys at Pritzker Hageman

When hayrides are not operated safely and tragedy happens families deserve answers, an independent investigation and justice.  Our transportation safety attorneys know that while money  from a lawsuit can pay medical bills and provide long- term assistance to someone seriously injured, it can’t bring a loved one back.  In those cases, what a lawsuit can do is provide justice and force changes, so that what happened to your family doesn’t keep happening again and again to others.

Individual state laws covering tourist activities that take place on farms can be varied and complex. Our award winning transportation attorneys have the experience to handle these types of cases.  Contact us today for a free consultation.


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