Kentucky Injury Lawyers

A Deadly Crash Results in Greater Monitoring of the Safety Requirements for Stretch Limousine Vehicles

Published on Nov 18, 2015 at 11:12 am in Auto Accident, Auto Product Liability.

A recent deadly crash in Long Island of a limousine carrying eight women has brought attention to the modifications of “stretch” limousine vehicles and their inability to provide protection for passengers in side impact crashes.  Federal officials have agreed to investigate limousine accidents and evaluate the safety requirements currently in place to regulate how these vehicles are modified in aftermarket facilities.

The modification requirements for stretch limousine and bus vehicles currently are not specific, leaving great variation in the way these vehicles are transformed once they leave a manufacturer.  For example, some vehicles have three steel reinforcement bars in the side panels, but others, in order to save time and cost, may have only one.  Many vehicles lack basic safety protections, including not enough side impact air bags, rollover bars, and appropriate exits.  Often times the changes made are for superficial reasons, leaving little concern for the safety cost of the change, such as removing a side exit to lengthen the seating area of a vehicle.  When a limo or bus leaves the manufacturing floor it has passed all of the required federal tests necessary to protect drivers and passengers.  However, these same limos are often taken to aftermarket shops where they are stretched, modified, or changed, leaving safety standards at risk and both drivers and passengers in danger.

Since the deadly crash in Long Island, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer has been very outspoken about the need for greater safety standards for stretch limousines.  The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has heeded his call and agreed to investigate future limousine accidents as they occur on a case-by-case basis.  This agreement is critical as it lays the groundwork for the NTSB to formally issue safety recommendations for altered stretch limousines.  Combined with already available data, these recommendations can be used to place additional requirements and safeguard on altered stretch limousines.

Stretch limousines are most often used by passengers on monumental occasions, such as weddings, proms, birthdays, and anniversaries.  Many passengers are completely unaware of the risk of traveling in one of these vehicles and what little protection it would actually provide in a crash.  1 in 4 accidents involving stretch limos are side-impacting.  Despite this fact, side airbags and other protections are requirements left absent during the secondary alteration of limousines.  The deadly crash in Long Island was caused by a pick up truck crashing into the side of a stretch limo traveling to Wine Country, killing four women and severely injuring the other four.  Had their vehicle had side airbags, rollover bars, or more bolstering in the doors, the women might have survived.

Passengers of stretch limousine and other special event vehicles should be free to enjoy their exciting life moments without having to worry about the unregulated safety of their transportation.  If you want to learn more about the changes the NTSB is making to increase passenger protection, contact Thomas Law Offices for more information.

Drugs and Alcohol Involved in Driving Fatalities

Published on Jul 14, 2015 at 10:55 am in Auto Accident, Personal Injury.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drugs and alcohol continue to be a major cause of Kentucky car accidents. The data shows that, nationally, drugs and alcohol were involved in fatal accidents, claiming 267,598 lives from 1995 and 2013, according to drugtreatment.com. Drugs or alcohol involvement accounted for 26 percent of all fatal car accidents over that time period.

South Dakota had the most fatal car accidents involving a legally drunk driver, 22.44 per every 100,000 residents. The next nine states in order were; Wyoming (19.02), Arkansas (18.68), Nebraska (18.54), Montana (16.85), Mississippi (16.42), Maine (15.12), Kentucky (14.98), Louisiana (14.63, and West Virginia (14.05).

North Dakota had the most fatal car accidents where the driver was under the influence of drugs, 8.03 for every 100,000 residents. The next nine states in order were: Wyoming (7.53), Montana (7.33), West Virginia (6.09), Kentucky (5.89), Arkansas (5.23), Vermont (4.56), South Dakota (4.20), South Carolina (4.07), and Alabama (4.05).

Deadly Accidents Show Dangers of Teen Driving

Published on Oct 27, 2014 at 8:06 am in Auto Accident.

Two horrible car accidents in Southern California claimed the lives of a total of ten people last weekend. Teenaged drivers were behind the wheel in both cases.

In Orange County, at about 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning, a 16-year-old boy who did not have a license was driving five other teenagers home from the Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park. In October, the park converts to a Halloween theme as the popular “Knott’s Scary Farm.”

The BMW Sedan drove off the road going southbound on the Santa Ana Freeway in Irvine, crashing and catching fire. All five of the passengers, two girls and three boys aged 14-15 were killed – most burned beyond recognition. The driver was listed in serious but stable condition. Orange County Fire Authority confirmed that the car was flattened on top and showed burn marks as it was towed away from the scene.

Jefferson County, Kentucky Earns a Critical Crash Rate

Published on Oct 15, 2014 at 8:16 am in Auto Accident.

A study published last month by the University of Kentucky’s Kentucky Transportation Center looked at state traffic data covering the five-year period from 2009 to 2013. Crash rates were calculated for different types of highways and by city and county. The goal was to determine average crash statistics and identify problem areas.

Jefferson County Ranks High in Pedestrian and Bicycle Crash Rates

When data was compared by county, Jefferson County had the highest rate of accidents that involved pedestrians. Reports from police data show that cars struck and killed 71 pedestrians in Jefferson County from 2009-13. Unfortunately, this year already is on pace to reach the highest level of pedestrian deaths in one year, which was 24, killed in 2008.

Safe Driving Tips from AAA

Published on Oct 7, 2014 at 8:37 am in Auto Accident.

Kentucky Car CrashVeteran sports car driver Don Kitch, Jr., teaches a One-Day High Performance Driving Clinic in Kent, Washington, at the Pacific Raceways track. His tips are designed for everyday drivers as well as race enthusiasts, and some of them are surprisingly simple.

Here are his top six tips as reported in AAA’s Western Journey Magazine: