Strap yourselves in for some Rollercoaster stats

Just what is it about human beings that makes us actively seek out experiences which terrify us? From jump scenes in scary movies to throwing ourselves from planes for fun, we all enjoy the occasional hair-raising moment to make life that little bit more exciting, and rollercoasters are one of the most popular forms of frightening ourselves. While it's almost Halloween and we're in the season for screams and thrills we thought it was a good opportunity to look ath the ups and downs of rollercoaster statistics.

The fastest rollercoaster currently in existence is the Formula Rossa ride in Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi, which reaches a maximum speed of 149.1mph. That places it a full 21.1mph ahead of its nearest rival, the Kingda Ka ride at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. Here's a run-down of the top ten rollercoasters by speed:

Many of the same names make the top tne when it comes to record-holders for height, with Kingda Ka riding high in the numer one spot at a vertigo-inducing 456ft. It also has the biggest drop of 418ft but doesn't make it into the top ten for length. Here's a chart to show the highest rollercoasters in the world:

And here are the rollercoasters with the biggest drops:

Those are some pretty frightening charts, and these rides certainly aren't for the faint-hearted. Your chances of being killed on a rollercoaster are vanishingly small, however with odds of acquiring a fatal injury standing at 1 in 1.5billion. In the USA there are an average of four deaths a year caused by rollercoasters, but that figure included deaths caused by medical conditions or complications form an injury sustained on a ride, as well as rare instance of crashes.

Every year an average of 4,400 children are injured on rollercoasters in the United States, but only 1.5% of those require hospital treatment. Overall, then, rollercoasters seem like a fairly safe form of thrill-seeking, if you like that sort of thing. Having seen these charts, we'll probably be sticking to the teacups...