Earlier this week, fifteen people aboard a “party bus” were injured when their vehicle was sideswiped by a SUV on the Eisenhower Expressway in Chicago. Although most of the injuries were minor, one person suffered a broken leg. The driver of the SUV was later charged with a DUI. The driver of the party bus was cited for no valid insurance, a suspended vehicle registration, and overloading a bus as well.
Although the drunk driver was clearly at fault in this case, as a car and truck accident attorney, I question the safety of driving around Chicago in a party bus. Party buses are often offered by limo companies and include flat screen TVs, stereo systems, and in some cases, dance floors.
According to one passenger on this particular bus, when the SUV hit the vehicle, passengers were sent tumbling and flipping over each other. In my opinion, the passengers on this bus were lucky to escape with only minor injuries. Specifically, the passengers were in substantial danger when the bus crashed because they were not wearing seat belts, and worse, standing up. On top of that, the bus apparently was overcrowded.
Under normal conditions, the roads are very dangerous, so why make them more dangerous by driving around unsecured in an overcrowded party bus? I am thankful that this crash did not result in a tragic situation. Yet, I hope this accident prompts limo companies to either significantly improve the safety of party buses or eliminate them entirely before someone is seriously injured or killed.