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With Uber and Lyft providing us with transportation literally at our fingertips, many may not think twice about stepping into someone else’s car. However, a deadly limo crash in New York earlier this fall has many rethinking hiring a driving company to take them where they need to go.
An investigation revealed that the limousine had failed inspection the month before and was not supposed to be on the road. With twenty dead, officials are claiming this was the deadliest crash in the nation in the last decade.
Although buses and limos are generally considered to be a safe means of transportation, due to their high passenger occupancy and sheer size, any bus collision can be deadly and impact dozens of people.
Several weeks after the horrific New York accident, a Delaware motorcyclist lost his life due to a collision with a bus.
However, passengers do have a way to protect themselves from negligent business practices in the transportation industry. Before calling for a ride, visit the federal website to learn if the bus or limousine company is in violation of the laws put into place to keep passengers safe.
Customers can look up a transportation company’s safety record by visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) online database. Finding the exact company in the database can be tricky, so have the formal name of the company or the US DOT number handy before searching.
Once the bus or limo company is found, the top of the screen will have the companies overall rating, such as “satisfactory”.
Below this, the database has the following safety categories ready for review:
The categories that have violations will have a yellow caution sign attached. Further information on those violations can be viewed as well.
For example, Greyhound lines has an overall satisfactory rating; however, they have 111 violations for HOS. What this means is that drivers were found behind the wheel working beyond the limit of hours that are considered safe 111 times.
However, the FMCSA warns that unless a company has an overall unsatisfactory rating, consumers should not draw conclusions about a carrier’s overall safety, solely based on the data displayed in this system.
Although commercial bus and limousine company information can be found on the federal website, consumers should also be wary of the fact that vehicles with unfixed recalls put passengers and others on the road at risk.
Uber and Lyft require a vehicle inspection, but they do not require drivers to fix recall issues.
Customers that have the free MYCARFAX app can type in the rideshare vehicle’s license plate number to check if the car has any open recalls, and what the issues, if any, there may be.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a bus accident, limo accident, or a rideshare accident, contact an experienced Wilmington bus accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Call our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500 or Bear office at 302-834-8484 or complete an online form to schedule a free initial consultation. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware, including Elsmere and Seaford, with offices conveniently located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford.