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Are stretch limos more dangerous than you think?

You're well aware of the dangers of drinking and driving. That's why, when planning your wedding, you decide to rent a stretch limousine for you and the bridal party.

With the limo, everyone can drink as much as they want during the day. Though most drinking happens at the reception, you know that some people drink before the ceremony or in the downtime between the ceremony and the reception. No matter what, you just want to make sure everyone is safe.

But are they? Is a limo the ultimate way to protect people or are you putting them in danger? The reality is that many limos have hazards that people know nothing about.

Altering a traditional vehicle

For one thing, creating a limo often involves taking a traditional car and heavily modifying it. Most car companies do no actually produce limos that come straight out of the factory. People cut these cars apart, extend them and completely rebuild them. 

It's not that this can never be done safely, but it does mean you have to trust the craftsmanship on both ends: in the original factory and during the rebuild. On top of that, experts call the inspection system for limos haphazard at best, and many limousines do not have to meet all of the same federal safety standards that you expect with other vehicles. 

The finished product looks beautiful, so you feel safe, but the reality is that you are in an aftermarket vehicle that workers cobbled together and that may not have gone through proper safety checks. Is that actually safe?

A relaxed atmosphere

Another potential issue is that the relaxed atmosphere that you love while riding in a limousine could also put you in danger. Your guests can drink in the car itself. They pile in along the sides of the vehicle. While you probably wear your seat belt every day when you commute to work, you may not put it on in a limo. It feels more like a bus – some of which do not have seat belts – so there is this assumption that you are safe no matter what. Having a professional driver also gives you this illusion of safety.

But one mistake can still cause a tragic accident. For instance, a limo in New York was all over the headlines in early October because it allegedly failed an inspection before getting involved in an accident. Twenty people died. Eighteen of them were in the limo. Four of them were sisters.

The real danger

Seeking alternative transportation to avoid drunk driving is wise. Just make sure you don't assume every other option is perfectly safe. If you get injured in a crash, you need to know how to seek compensation

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