A new report from National Public Radio takes a look at the state of hot air balloon safety. Between 2000 and 2011, there have been 169 incidents in which such a conveyance crashed to the ground, leading to various injuries and five fatalities. One doctor interviewed for the story noted that injuries are usually fractures to the lower body, so caused by the balloon coming down hard on solid ground and causing persons inside to suffer leg damage. One current problem with hot air ballooning might be the fact that the preflight briefing to passengers, a requirement, is not standardized, and thus the relative worth of those briefings is hard to judge. The aforementioned doctor noted the importance of wearing a helmet and paying attention to the briefing anyway.
Follow this link for the full report.