It is increasingly common for large groups to charter private party buses for events. People choose them for their bachelorette, bachelor, graduation and other parties as a safe alternative when they plan to drink while visiting multiple locations. Often, parents of minors will rent one of these vehicles for prom or other high school dances as a safer alternative than having teenagers driving themselves. While party buses may be safer than getting behind the wheels of vehicles after drinking, there are multiple accidents involving them each year.
When people are injured on party buses, the companies may be liable to pay damages as common carriers. Because they carry passengers and fall under the common carrier requirements, party buses owe duties of utmost care to their passengers. Passengers likewise owe duties of care for their own safety. Their duties are only what is reasonable rather than the utmost care that is required of the bus companies, however.
Parents who rent these vehicles for their children should be aware that renting a party buses does not mean that it is also ok to furnish alcohol for the minors to consume. Under Illinois law, a parent who provides alcohol to a minor faces both civil and criminal liability.
It is extremely important before renting one of these vehicles to check the company’s safety record and make sure the vehicle maintenance records are up to date. It is also a wise practice to confirm that the company and driver are properly insured in case of an accident.