25 Sep Deadly Wine Country Accident Sparks NTSB Investigation into Possible Limo Dangers
A fatal limo accident that took place this past July in Long Island killed four young women when a pickup truck plowed into the side of the luxury vehicle. While the aftermath of this tragic accident has certainly left a lot of grief in its wake, it has also sparked some to seriously question the safety of limos.
And, now, regulators at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have agreed to start investigating certain limo accidents, something the Board has only rarely done in the past.
The goal is to identify whether limos may have inherent flaws that endanger passengers and, in turn, to pinpoint what can be done to make these vehicles safer for occupants in the event of a traffic collision.
Limos Are Not Subject to Same Regulations as Passenger Vehicles, Some Note
One of the central problems that some critics of limousine safety have highlighted is the fact that limos, party buses and even shuttle vans are not required to comply with the same safety regulations that pertain to passenger vehicles.
In fact, in 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) granted the makers of these vehicles a specific exemption, allowing them to include “perimeter seating” (i.e., seats that face inwards, rather than to the front of the vehicle).
This exemption has led to what some are calling a loophole that effectively allows the makers of these luxury vehicles to avoid having to install seatbelts, airbags and other safety features that are required in standard passenger vehicles.
As Byron Bloch, an auto safety expert, has explained:
This is an issue with these party limousines…If these were regular cars or SUVs you wouldn’t be able to legally sell the vehicles in the U.S… These limos are moving bars and rec rooms… People are encouraged to stand up, mix and mingle. Their marketing allure is ‘continue your party in our limo.’ Even if there are seat belts for everyone, promoters of these party bus and limo services are saying it’s safer than driving drunk. But they’re also encouraging you to get up and move around in the cabin. It’s a contradiction.
NTSB Agrees to Investigate Limo Crashes
In a groundbreaking announcement issued days ago, an NTSB spokesperson noted that the Board will start investigating some limo crashes on a case-by-case basis.
One of the more recent and notable investigations the NTSB conducted for a limo crash involved the Tracy Morgan limo accident, which occurred last year, killed one of Morgan’s friends and left Morgan with a serious brain injury.
What do you think about the NTSB taking action to start investigating limo accidents? Post your opinions on our Facebook & Google+ pages.
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