Saturday a deadly limousine crash in Schoharie, New York left 20 dead making it the deadliest transportation accident in the U.S. in 9 years. It was the deadliest transportation accident since February 2009, when Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed near Buffalo, New York, killing 50 people.
According to CBS News, a deadly limousine crash has happened every year in this country since 2000. These crashes account for at least 68 deaths.
Although most states require seat belts in the front seats, 22 states don’t have the same regulations for passengers in the back, and according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, you are eight times more likely to be killed in a crash if you are riding in the back seat of a car without a seat belt.
As most limousines don’t cross state lines, regulations for limousine are often regulated at the state level, and states like Mississippi regulate them similarly to buses, only stepping in when it seat 15 or more passengers.
“Mississippi is fairly laxed,” Scott said. “DOT regulates limousine just as they would buses”
Another thing that increases the chance of deadly accidents is the limit of regulation on vehicle which have been modified to accommodate more passengers.
“[Some companies] will take a factory vehicle and cut it apart at a 3rd party facility and put it back together as best they see fit,” Oxford Executive Travel President Jared Scott said. “A lot of the times its not even close to manufactures specifications as far as safety goes. I had one manufactured about eight or nine years ago, and once I figured out how they were manufactured, I started to have my doubts about them. You see how they are manufactured, and you start to think ‘God, is this really in good taste?'”
Oxford Executive Travel hasn’t had an accident, a feat which President Jared Scott attributes to his companies safety practices.
“I prefer to operate factory style vehicles,” Scott Said. “I tend not to buy anything thats been modified. All my drivers are CDL drivers and have lots of experience driving buses or semi truck. I look for employees that have a solid track record of safe driving practices. I constantly monitor at MVRS. We use cameras in our cars. We drug test randomly and we also push up on a hour service limit and don’t allow drivers to work beyond 8 hours at a time because driver fatigue is a real thing.”