How risky is a ride in a limousine? Are these stretched vehicles safe, or are they a limousine accident waiting to happen? Riding in a limousine isn't as risky as riding in a taxi, but that doesn't mean it is risk free. The reality is that accidents can occur in any type of vehicle and luxury limousines are no exception.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that from 2012 through 2016, 12 people died in limousine accidents. However, in 2018 a single accident in New York claimed 20 lives. By comparison, during this same period 171,508 people died in all motor vehicle accidents.
Statistically, the risk is low. Realistically, the danger is ever present. Nationwide, it is estimated there are more than 60,000 limousines/sedan transports in operation. This is approximately 1/3 the number of taxis in the country and a small fraction of the more than 263 million cars in the US.
Manufactured vs. Converted Limousine
Limousines that are manufactured as limousines are safer than vehicles that are converted into limousines. The latter includes many popular types of limousine transport including stretch Hummers. Manufactured vehicles contain all the safety features required to protect passengers from injury. Conversely, many of these safety features are removed when a vehicle is stretched. As a result, passengers typically do not have the same level of protection in a modified vehicle.
Further, converting a vehicle changes the vehicle's center of gravity and its handling characteristics. A converted vehicle can easily weigh 10,000 lbs. or more when fully loaded with passengers. Further, converted vehicles frequently do not have adequate frames, suspension, or steering systems which can make it easy for drivers to lose control of the vehicle even at low speeds. As speeds increase, the risks increase exponentially. The accident that claimed 20 lives in 2018 was a 2001 Ford Excursion that had been "chopped" and converted into a limousine.
Causes of Limousine Accidents
Limousine accidents can occur because of poor design or a substandard manufacturing process. They can also occur because of driver error or negligent behaviors such as driving too fast for conditions, driving while intoxicated, or driving while distracted. Accidents can also occur because of passenger behaviors such as deliberately interfering with the driver.
Call Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400 to discuss your limousine accident. Our lawyers will provide free legal consultations to clients pursuing claims for injuries or wrongful deaths that occur in a taxi cab or limousine in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri, or Texas. We give emergency legal consultations on weekends, holidays and at night time. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.