The community of Amsterdam, New York has rallied around the families of the victims who died in last month’s devastating limousine crash in Schoharie. Even before the last funeral for the 20 victims ended, friends and community members have worked to create fundraisers to help the children impacted by the crash.
While the investigation into this deadly accident continues, many limousine service customers are questioning the safety of these types of vehicles. One common inquiry is about seatbelts, as preliminary results into the Schoharie crash indicate that the passengers were not wearing seatbelts and that there weren’t enough belts for the 15 passengers.
Do Your Homework Before Hiring A Limousine Service
In addition to asking about vehicle safety equipment like seatbelts, take some time to do a pre-trip limousine operator check:
· Research federal records. The SAFER (Safety and Fitness Electronic Records) database, managed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), can be checked for the company’s operating status, inspection record and any reported crashes in the last 24 months. You’ll also find safety tips and an issue reporting function.
· Check driver credentials. Companies operating in New York must verify that their driver employees have completed pre-employment checks and medical exams. This 19A certification also calls for road and theory tests every two years. Call the operator and ask if the drivers are 19A certified.
· Ask about DOT inspections. The Department of Transportation must certify vehicles of more than nine paid passengers. Formal semi-annual inspections are supplemented with more informal checks between inspections. Ask whether the vehicles are DOT inspected.
· Check reviews and references. Your destination may be able to give you a list of tour operators who are welcome there. Look at online reviews at Yelp, Google and the operator’s Facebook page.
When you are ready to leave on your limo trip, give the vehicle a once-over to look for obvious structural problems like cracked windows or missing headlights. Talk to the driver to be comfortable that he or she is ready for the job.
If anything seems amiss with the driver or the vehicle on your trip, don’t hesitate to call 911.
Let Us Know If You Have Been Injured in a Vehicle Accident
If you or a family member has been harmed by a car accident, truck accident, construction accident, slip and fall or any other type of personal injury, please contact StolzenbergCortelli, LLC Attorneys at Law immediately. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorneys Howard Stolzenberg and Terrence James Cortelli, personal injury attorneys in White Plains, Nyack and New York City, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 800-494-0889 or contact us via the website.