The last thing you ever want to think about while watching a parade with your children in an atmosphere of glee and laughter is being run over or struck by a float.
Believe it or not, many of the floats being pulled at parades are not subject to inspection or regulation and oftentimes are constructed by individuals with little concern for consumer or patron safety. Since these floats are built as temporary displays, the construction standards of many multi-level floats leave much to be desired.
Recently, two people were hospitalized after a float in a St. Patrick’s Day parade collapsed. According to captains on the float, two tires blew out as the float was rounding a turn and after they stopped to change the tires, the second story and side of the float collapsed and crushed those riding on the lower level of the float. Most of the float’s 35 occupants and riders suffered injuries and police were not sure whether bystanders were injured. Many times amusement or parade floats, and even Halloween hay rides for that matter, are defectively designed, maintained, and operated, and accidents occur causing a significant amount of injuries due to the people involved and the size and weight of the equipment.
The experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyers of Reiff and Bily understand that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has estimated that a number of serious injuries due to parade float failures, hay rides, and trailers have risen dramatically. Many parade floats and hay rides involve the use of a trailer attached to a tractor or truck pull.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has admitted that no standards exist for trailer hitches. Unfortunately, in most states, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, very little regulation exists with regard to parade floats, hay rides, or trailers that are less than 3,000 lbs.
Our experienced investigators and defective vehicle legal team has found that many trailers are made just to be under the gross weight of 3,000 lbs. so as not to be subject to regulations. Yes, even homemade trailers are allowed and the only thing that states require is that lights be working at the time of registration and very few states check the quality of construction. Codes exempt many trailers and only require that brakes be inspected beyond additional confirmation of a VIN plate. Many state laws, including the laws in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, are silent as to any design or construction specifications for those vehicles or towing chains or hitches. In many cases where injuries have been caused as a result of a defective float or defective trailer design, we have found that tow trailers have obvious safety violations that relate to lighting, braking, and inspection requirements.
If you or a loved one was injured as a result of an allegedly defective trailer or parade float, our skilled defective trailer lawyers always offer a free, no obligation consultation toll free at 1-800-421-9595 or online at www.reiffandbily.com.