Many people in New York City take advantage of transportation to and from events to continue the celebration and prevent potential drunk driving situations. However, according to the International Business Times, modified stretch limousines and party vans are not the safe alternative they are publicized to be.
Auto safety experts point out that many companies promote the fun atmosphere of their vehicles by allowing passengers to move around freely rather than using the proper restraints, even though seat belts are proven to reduce injuries and fatalities in crashes. Even worse, according to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, many of these modified vehicles lack standard safety features, such as adequate number seat belts and side impact airbags.
Schumer also points out that aftermarket modifications typically include altering the vehicles’ length, weight and seating arrangements. The structural soundness of the frames can be affected drastically by an extended vehicle chassis, and the extra length may also allow for more passengers than is safe for the vehicle to carry. Many stretch limos also lack reinforced rollover bars to protect passengers from side impact collisions, which account for one in four limo accidents. In addition, emergency exits are often blocked or removed, preventing passengers’ escape in the event of an accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not currently require aftermarket vehicles to meet the standard federal safety requirements other vehicles must adhere to. Schumer has urged federal agencies to implement mandatory crash tests and in-depth investigations of limousine crashes to prevent more injury and fatality accidents.