A limousine accident that left 20 dead is drawing attention to the lack of regulation for after-market modifications to certain vehicles. The limousine, which was originally a Ford Excursion before it was sawed in half and retrofitted into a limo, blew through a stop sign in the major accident that claimed the lives of three sisters and their friends and family.
These modified vehicles, dubbed “Frankenstein” vehicles by the press because they have been cut up and patched together, much like the creature in the famous novel, have been implicated in other accidents through the years. Because they are not designed and engineered by experts, they may be compromised in a variety of ways, including:
- Poor side impact protection, as the retrofitted parts do not meet the same specifications as the initial vehicle
- Limited handling and steering, as the original driveshaft and wheels were not designed for the increased length
- Lack of airbags and other safety features for the increased number of passengers
Vehicles designed and manufactured as limousines face significantly higher safety requirements than the Frankenstein versions currently prowling the streets. This hole in the regulatory apparatus has put the lives and safety of people at risk for years. Now perhaps the legislature will intervene and force these businesses that retrofit these vehicles to ensure their safety profiles before putting them on the road.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a transportation accident, and you suspect that proper safety protocols were not developed and followed, please consider consulting with an experienced attorney regarding your case. Too many business owners cut corners to maximize profits, and only by taking away the profit motive by holding them financially accountable can we hope to put an end to these dangerous stunts.