It’s that time of year again — high school homecoming football games and dances. This is a cherished rite of passage for most high school teenagers who love the prospect of dressing up and stepping out of a limousine when they arrive at the festivities.
But how safe is the limo in which your kids will be riding? You may have decided to spring for the limo or party bus solely to keep them safe. You figure that by not being on the road with other possibly impaired teens with little driving experience, they will be out of harm’s way.
Horrific crash poses many questions
A recent fatal collision in another state of a rented party bus led to 20 deaths — all those aboard and two bystanders at the crash scene. The investigation into the circumstances of the tragedy is still in its preliminary stages, but all indications appear that the limousine was in very poor condition. Additionally, it is reported that the limo driver did not have the required license certification to carry passengers.
All that points to the company owners facing enormous liability for keeping unsafe vehicles in their fleet and employing uncertified drivers to drive passengers. This flies in the face of the rationale for hiring a limo in the first place — to remain safe while partying with friends.
Questions parents should know to ask
If you are considering hiring a limo to ferry your teens to homecoming or elsewhere, first find out:
- Is underage drinking forbidden? Yes, it’s against the law, but does the company employ drivers willing to let kids slide on the rules?
- What are the passenger limits? Learn how many can be safely accommodated and make sure this limit is never exceeded.
Parents also should make sure that their teens know and understand what is acceptable behavior for a passenger in a limousine or party bus. While different companies may have different rules, all teenage riders should realize that it is never appropriate to stick their heads or any other body parts out of the windows, doors or sunroof when the vehicle is in motion.
Limo injuries may be compensated
Of course, the ultimate goal of parents and teens is to arrive home safely from the limo ride to the function. Should an accident occur that leaves your teenager with injuries, you may need to file a claim for damages to recoup any financial or other losses.