In October 2018, a limousine crash killed 20 people in New York. The operator of the limousine company, Nauman Hussain, was charged with criminally negligent homicide. The limo company is in Wilton, New York. They owned the vehicle involved in the crash, a 2001 Ford Excursion. The 18 passengers in the limo were killed, including the driver, along with two bystanders.
Upon investigating the crash and the limo company, it’s been found that the limo failed two inspections this year. The vehicle’s brakes weren’t working properly. Even though the vehicle wasn’t up to inspection, it was still sent out. There are two investigations concerning this crash. The New York State Police Department’s criminal investigation and the National Transportation Safety Board is also looking into it.
It was also found that the driver, Scott T. Lisinicchia had a violation for driving without the correct license for the vehicle a few weeks before the accident. Commercial vehicles can’t just be driven by anyone, they need to obtain the proper license. This means they need to pass a road test with a supervisor. The negligent actions of the company to allow unsafe vehicles and unlicensed drivers on the road risked everything, and many innocent people paid the ultimate price.
Commercial Vehicle Accidents Are Often Preventable
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSA) reported that there were 415,000 crashes that involved large trucks in 2015. 3,598 of the crashes were fatal and 83,000 caused injuries. When it comes to commercial vehicles, the drivers need to be experienced and aware of the surroundings because their vehicle is often larger and heavier than the other cars on the road. Many accidents with commercial vehicles were caused by negligence, meaning they could have been avoided.
The driver can make many mistakes that can lead to fatal crashes like the one in New York. Drivers may:
- Drive Distracted. A limo driver could be depending on their navigation system or texting and driving. In any case, an object that takes away the driver’s attention from the road is a distraction.
- Speed. Commercial vehicle drivers may not take into account their vehicle’s size. Speeding will reduce their control of the vehicle and increase the chance of an accident, especially on sharp turns.
- Follow Too Closely. Drivers may either tailgate or not understand how close they are to the vehicle in front of them. If they need to slow down or stop, there’s a good chance the commercial vehicle will rear-end what’s in front of them.
- Ignore Weather Conditions. Rain, snow, and ice also reduce visibility and make the roads slippery. This also means those driving need to take more precautions to not cause an accident. Driving as if the roads were normal could increase the chances of an accident.
- Don’t Know the Road. A driver in an unfamiliar area may not know about blind turns or particularly busy sections.
- Drive While Fatigued. Exhausted drivers have slower reactions, have more trouble making decisions on the road, and are at risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
- Unqualified. Commercial vehicles can’t just be driven by anyone, they need to obtain the proper license. This means they need to pass a road test with a supervisor.
But the accident isn’t always the driver’s fault. If a vehicle doesn’t pass inspection or needs to be given an inspection, the operator may be the one who knows which vehicles are safe and which ones aren’t. They may be deciding to put unsafe vehicles on the road to reach more clients, even though they’re putting their lives at risk.
There’s also the chance of an auto part manufacturer making a faulty product that breaks down or poses another safety hazard. They could cause brakes to fail or for there to be an engine problem.
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, we can help you protect your rights. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation of your case. You can meet with one of our attorneys and discuss your options.