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Personal Injury Risks of Riding in a Limousine

Posted on in Car Accidents

Personal Injury Risks of Riding in a LimousineTwenty people died as a result of a recent stretch limousine accident in New York, highlighting the potential dangers of these vehicles. Renting a limousine seems like a practical and responsible action for a large group of people going out for an evening of fun that may involve alcohol. In the case of the New York accident, 17 friends were heading for a birthday party at a brewery. Stretch limousines do not follow the same safety regulations as normal vehicles. As a result, passengers can be at greater risk of suffering injuries during a crash.

Design

Major car manufacturers do not produce the stretch limousines that you see on the road. Limousines are normal vehicles that have been extended by cutting the vehicle in half and adding a longer middle section. The smaller company that made the limousine may have removed some of the safety features that the vehicle needed to pass federal safety standards, such as:

  • Side-impact airbags;
  • Reinforced rollover bars; and
  • Easily accessible exits.

There are no federal safety standards when a vehicle is modified into a limousine. Illinois requires modified vehicles to be inspected every six months but puts no limit on how large a modified limousine can be.

Driving the Vehicle

A stretch limousine is more difficult to control than a normal vehicle because of its size and awkward length. The breaks and tires should have been modified from the original vehicle to adjust for the added weight of the vehicle. Customers also must be wary that the limousine driver and company are reputable. Just because someone is driving a limousine does not mean he or she is licensed to do so. When hiring a limousine, you should:

  • Investigate the safety record of the limousine company;
  • Ask to see the driver’s commercial driver’s license; and
  • Inspect the condition of the vehicle.

Passenger Behavior

Most limousines are not required to have seat belts for passengers sitting behind the driver. Passengers are unlikely to be wearing seatbelts anyway because of the party atmosphere in the vehicle. In the event of a collision, unsecured passengers can be thrown from their seats, which is dangerous for both themselves and the other passengers.

Injury Liability

The limousine driver and company are responsible for your safety while you are a passenger. You may be entitled to compensation if you were injured due to the driver’s recklessness or the company’s negligence in providing a safe vehicle. A McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you prove liability and receive compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838. 

Source:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/08/nyregion/stretch-limo-dangers-safety.html

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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