Dangers of Limousines and Party Buses

Many metro-Atlanta schools are celebrating homecoming within the next few weeks. This is an exciting time for high school students, second only to prom and graduation. Homecoming week is known for events at school, sporting events, and even dances in many communities. These dances mean finding the appropriate attire and arriving in style, which many times means renting limousines and party buses. This not only guarantees students a great time, but allows peace of mind for many parents worried about their students driving in the traffic and excitement associated with homecoming week. Unfortunately, there are dangers associated with these specialty vehicles as well. The top hazards associated with limos and party buses include drivers and safety concerns.

Limousines seem glamorous and party buses fun, but make sure you select a company that is properly registered and insured when researching driving services. If drivers are not adequately licensed, trips in these vehicles can lead to disaster. These vehicles are much larger and more difficult to operate than the average motor vehicle, especially in the metro-Atlanta area, so many sure the company you hire employs drivers with experience and the proper licensing. Also, these drivers should be professional and keep their undivided attention on the road at all times. Professional drivers will refrain from participating in the happenings with passengers and will concentrate solely on doing their job: transporting passengers safely. As we've discussed before, drivers who are distracted pose just as much threat to others as those who are impaired.

There are a variety of safety concerns associated with limousines and party buses as well. Many times limos do not have seat belts for passengers, presenting obvious hazards. In busy cities like Atlanta, Marietta, Woodstock, Johns Creek, and Woodstock auto accidents are a daily occurrence. The smallest of accidents can result in injuries if seat belts are not worn. During manufacturing, limousines are often taken apart, stretched, and spliced back together without structural design or crash testing being performed. This means that in addition to seat belt concerns, the crash worthiness of certain limos is questionable. Modifications to limousines and party buses can also create blind spots that prevent drivers from seeing other automobiles maneuver improperly. This is dangerous not only for passengers of the limo or party bus, but others on the road as well. These design flaws are due to the commonality of aftermarket manufacturers operating under conditions that lead to manufacturing defects. These operating conditions can include no engineering, no testing, no quality control, and violating OEM specifications.

Many limousine and party bus rental companies are safe and will provide safe transportation. Below are a few tips to ensure that you and your loved ones hire a safe company and driver:

  • Make sure the company is registered and insured properly before hiring them.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau for the company's status and reputation. Georgia consumer protection offices are also good sources to check.
  • Ask questions before hiring the company, such as how it screens drivers and the length of time that particular drivers have been operating these types of vehicles.
  • Inspect the vehicle you will be renting by counting seatbelts and studying inspection stickers. Then write down the VIN number so you can guarantee that you pay for that specific vehicle.
  • Get your complete transaction in writing, including the cancellation policy, so that you know what happens to deposits and charges in a variety of events.

Auto accidents lead to the deaths of more people each year than plane crashes, which means it's safer to fly than drive. Even so, more people are afraid of flying than jumping into a service vehicle and letting a stranger operate it. The freedom allowed in limousines and party buses, such as moving around and not being properly restrained, can lead to serious injuries in the result of a crash. At Jones & Swanson, our attorneys have over 40 years of experience representing the victims of Georgia auto accidents. If you or someone you know was injured in an accident as a result of someone else's negligence, contact us today for a free consultation and legal information.