Contrary to commonly held beliefs in the limousine industry, the 3 most frequent types of accidents (click on images at right) reported to insurance companies involve low-impact collisions. What’s more, limousine company owners can easily add prevention measures to avoid all three accident types in their chauffeur and driver training program.
Not surprisingly, the leading type of limo accident is the rear-end collision. This is the limo striking the rear-end of the vehicle directly in front of it. While this type of accident is certainly not uncommon to all drivers, it is one that the professional driver or chauffeur can avoid by focusing on two preventive measures. First, back off and allow a minimum of 4 seconds between the limo and the vehicle in front. With larger stretches, limo vans and limo buses, the distance should increase to 6 seconds because of the increased stopping distance larger and heavier vehicles require. Secondly, professional drivers and chauffeurs should avoid distractions, such as, using cell phones and GPS devices, and focus on the task at hand – safe driving.
The second most frequent accident type involving limousines is the sideswipe. That is the limo, limo van or limo bus striking a fixed object such as a utility pole, another vehicle stopped in traffic or, in the case of high-profile vehicles such as vans and
buses, hotel/restaurant awnings. The key to avoiding sideswipes is making sure the drivers and chauffeurs have been trained on the handling characteristics, mirror placement and turning radius of all vehicles to which they are assigned. Placing an unprepared driver in an unfamiliar vehicle is usually the precursor of a sideswipe accident.
And, believe it or not, the last of the top 3 most common limo accidents involves the moving limousine striking a parked car. More often than not, the unoccupied car being struck is parked in a commuter parking lot, shopping center parking lot or at a sports stadium or entertainment venue parking area. Such locations are usually very congested and difficult to navigate through and have many unexpected blind spots. The best accident avoidance tactics are to slow down, anticipate blind spots and focus on the driving task.