Limousine Liability – Personal Injury
Limousines are always in demand during prom season and also in demand for weekend trips to wine-growing areas. What many users of limos don’t know is that in large measure these large cars are not controlled by U.S. safety rules. The president of the National Safety Council says that there is a large element of the unknown in regards to the making and oversight of the stretch limousine.
People have taken limos for granted. We assume that the limo driver has the proper license and that his enlarged car is safe.
Limousine Liability-Personal Injury In New York
An October 6, 2018 crash in New York state involving a limousine caused the death of 20 passengers. This limo had failed state inspections and the driver was not properly licensed to drive this vehicle.
The first response of the New York Governor to this crash was to ban all stretch limousines. He has since backed off from that idea. Limousines do not have to comply with federal standards in terms of how they are made. In particular they do not have to comply with the same front and side crash standards as automobiles. In addition they do not have to go through crash testing. The reason for that is that these cars are not built as stand alone units. They begin their lives as regular cars. They are then cut in half and extended. These changes result in the people inside facing to the side and not facing forward.
Limousine Liability-Personal Injury Due Lack of Safety FeaturesWhen these changes are made, the side rollover pillars, airbags and other features in cars are removed and sometimes not replaced. These safety features may be critical in a crash. There are no laws that require limos to comply with all of these rules. Most of these coach builders make the limo based upon customer orders.Call, or contact us for a free consult.
Although there was a U.S. rule passed in 2005 that required coach builders to certify that their limos meets U.S. safety standards, many of them do not do this. In addition limos are not required to have emergency exits or devices to put out fires.
Another safety feature that is lacking in limos is seatbelts. They are not required.
In New York state, legislation has been proposed to ban limos from making U-turns. This is an idea that has the backing of AAA.
Limousine Liability-Personal Injury Checklist
Before getting into a limousine, things you may want to check are:
- The safety record of the limo owner;
- Certification of the limo driver
- The presence of seatbelts for each seat;
- The presence of a sunroof which may be a means of exit in a crash or fire;
- Certification that the limo complies with federal standards as to side rollover pillars and side airbags; and
- Window glazing to prevent passenger ejection.