The risks of riding in a limo

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

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Riding in a limo in California is typically associated with fun and special events such as weddings, bachelorette parties, birthday celebrations and wine tasting with friends. While no one wants to think about bad things during these events, passengers should be aware of some of the dangers related to riding in these luxury vehicles. 

The New York Times reports on a recent accident involving a limousine that killed 20 people, making it the deadliest transportation accident in the country since 2009. While investigations are still being conducted to find out exactly what caused the accident, the lack of safety regulations of limos put passengers in greater danger when accidents do occur.

The drivers of limos are required to wear seatbelts, but the passengers are not, and many modified stretch limousines do not even have the lap and torso seat belts available. Many also do not have air bags or appropriate safety exits for passengers.

California is one state that has implemented stronger safety regulations for modified limos. According to California Legislative Information, all modified limousines must have one or two rear windows and two rear doors that can be opened by the passengers. Safety inspections of the modified vehicle terminals will also be conducted at least every 13 months.

Before any trip, the limo operator must communicate with the passengers about the safety features and disclose whether or not the vehicle meets the required safety obligations. Passengers should also inquire about seat belts, fire extinguishers and airbags. If a limo does not have these safety features, another company should probably considered to ensure the safety of everyone on board. 


Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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