Limousines built in a factory are subject to strict safety regulations. In other cases, a Lincoln Town Car might be cut in half, stretched and then put back together. These later converted vehicles are not always subject to the same safety regulations.
Because of the size of a stretch limo, large blind spots can lead to accidents. When a car has been stretched it may also lack necessary safety features as basic as enough seat belts, reinforced roll bars and airbags. Even a minor accident may thus cause serious injury.
What needs to be done to ensure that proper safety features come standard on all vehicles used by limousines services? The first step was to investigate the extent of the problem. Implementing safety regulations that fill the gaps is the next one in hopes of avoiding future crashes like the one that killed four young women on a winery tour in 2015.
A recent grand jury convened by the Suffolk County district attorney identified problems and found that some limousine companies even go so far as to file false paperwork with the Department of Motor Vehicles to avoid inspections. The district attorney in calling on the governor to assemble a safety task force stated that, “without sufficient safety standards in place, it is nothing but a fine line between a stretch limousine and a hearse.”
Recommendations for a task force
Whether a task force will be created to address limousine safety is now with Governor Andrew Cuomo. Ideally, it would report its findings to the National Transportation Safety Board and changes could be made nationally.
Because any regulatory change takes time to become law, you need to do your due diligence before hiring a limousine company. Ensure that the company is registered with the state and look for any negative reviews. Ask whether drivers are properly licensed and about the safety features of the vehicles.
Regardless of how careful you are in hiring a company, accidents can still happen. When you or a loved one is injured in an accident while riding in a limousine, town car or Uber, find out more about your rights to compensation. Depending on what happened there might be multiple parties at fault and it can become difficult to sort out liability issues.