Party buses are usually vans remodeled for the purpose of transporting people to bachelor parties, proms, birthday parties, concerts and birthday parties. They are outfitted to include LED lighting, elaborate seating arrangements, dance floors, sound systems, smoke machines and even stripper poles. Party buses are usually hired by people expecting to have a good time. However, these good times can sometimes become times of tragedy.
Accidents happen more often than you might expect in party buses and limousines. If you or a loved one has been injured in a part bus accident, talk to a California limousine accident attorney to evaluate your case for compensation.
How Party Bus Accidents Happen
On July 27, 2012, a 25-year-old woman, from Santa Cruz, was returning from a concert together with her friends in a party bus. Everyone had been drinking except the driver. At 11:50pm, as the bus was approaching Highway 17, Noland fell out the bus door. She was run over and died.
In 2014, a 16-year-old varsity tennis player was returning from a birthday celebration in Manhattan Beach with his friends in a double decker party bus. He stuck his head out as the bus approached an overpass near Inglewood. He hit the wall and died two days later.
Party bus carriers have increased nationwide. In California alone, they have grown by over 3,000 since 2009. Sadly, many accidents have also been recorded. Between 2009 and 2013, there were 22 bus party accidents reported nationwide, 18 of which recorded a fatality. Overall, 48 people were injured in the accidents.
Causes of Bus Party Accidents
Falling out the bus is the most common cause of party bus accidents. Out of the 22 accidents, 10 involved passengers falling off the bus. The deceased passengers hit or fell on the exit lever, opening the door and consequently falling out.
Other causes include:
- Passengers sticking their heads out and hitting an overpass
- Reckless/negligent driving by another vehicle
- Lack of maintenance of the bus
- Drunk driving
- Driver fatigue
California Laws on Party Buses
In 2013, California passed Assembly Bill 45 to curb underage drinking in party buses. According to this law, before booking a bus, one must state whether there will be any passengers below the age of 21 and whether alcohol will be served. If so, then the customer should designate an adult, 25 years or older, to act as a chaperone. The chaperone should inform the passengers that if alcohol is found, the bus will return to the starting point and the money forfeited to the bus company. The chaperone should also tell the driver if anyone under 21 years is caught drinking.
Additionally, before setting off, the driver should inspect the bus for alcohol if underage passengers will be present.If you or a loved one has been injured in a party bus accident, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Talk to a California personal injury attorney at J&Y Law today for a free consultation.