Deadly Limo Accident Raises Safety Concerns
On October 6, twenty people were fatally injured in Schoharie, New York when a limo lost control and crashed in a parking lot. The high number of fatalities makes it the deadliest traffic accident in the U.S. since 1999. The highly publicized tragedy has raised serious questions about the safety of limousines, especially stretch limos.
There are numerous checks that both drivers and limos need to pass before they hit the road. According to statements made after the accident, some of those checks may have been bypassed, leading to multiple factors that could have contributed to the accident. The vehicle in the crash, a 2001 Ford Excursion, was deemed unfit for the road after it failed its most recent inspection. The driver did not have a public vehicle license and may have been going too fast down a hill that was notoriously tricky to navigate.
Stretch Limos Held to Different Standards
Stretch limos have some inherent dangers that are unique. They are not manufactured from scratch, but rather from a car or SUV that has been cut in half and extended, with additional seating on the sides. The brakes and tires on the limos were designed for the original, smaller vehicles, and there are not enough airbags or side rollover pillars to be useful in a crash. Modified vehicles must meet safety standards, but not the same standards as cars straight from the manufacturer.
When riding in limos, passengers may forego seatbelts while sitting in the back. Due to the unusual seating arrangement, passengers are much more vulnerable in the event of a side crash, and they may be sent flying when the vehicle tries to stop. Limos weigh much more than regular cars or SUVs, because of their size and the number of passengers; when they are traveling at high speeds, it is much more difficult to stop when they encounter a hazard. On the night of the accident in Schoharie, witnesses said the limo was traveling at 60 miles per hour.
Other Fatal Limo Accidents
There have been other recent accidents involving limos that have people concerned. In 2015, a group of four women were killed on their way to a winery in New York when they were hit by a pickup truck; the police reported afterward that the driver smelled of alcohol. In 2013, there was a fire in a limo headed to a bridal shower that killed five people. The survivors claim that the driver was arguing with his wife on the phone and ignored them when they warned him about the fire.
Philadelphia Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger Obtain Compensation for Victims of Limo Accidents
When a limo accident occurs, it can be difficult to know who is at fault for the resulting injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a limo accident, call the car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP. Our knowledgeable, experienced lawyers will thoroughly review the facts of the accident and hold the parties responsible for your injuries accountable. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, Allentown, Reading, and Lancaster, we help accident victims throughout Pennsylvania. Call us today at 800-222-USWA (8792) or visit www.galfandberger.com for a free consultation with a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer.