15-Passenger Van Rollover Crashes
The U.S. Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers and passengers of the dangers involved with 15-passenger van rollover crashes. These vans are longer, taller and wider than traditional vehicles. They also have a higher rate of rollover crashes than other automobiles on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that three main variables can contribute to a greater risk of rollover.
Rollover Risk Factors for 15-Passenger Vans
1. Inexperienced drivers
2. Improperly sized and/or inflated tires
3. Incorrectly loaded cargo and passengers that affect center of gravity
The Dangers of 15-Passenger Van Rollover Crashes
These vans are a popular choice for youth athletic teams, churches, daycare centers and local clubs. Unfortunately, there just doesn’t seem to be enough awareness about the dangers involved with 15-passenger vans. Drivers absolutely need to be well trained and experienced with this type of vehicle. Additionally, these vans need to be inspected frequently, with special attention paid to the tires. Equally important, vans should be loaded properly, and the gross vehicle weight rating should never be exceeded. Sometimes, when young adults or children are riding in these vans, they start to feel relaxed. They may contribute to a false sense of security. One of the best ways to keep passengers safe and alive is to make sure they always buckle up.
Just the Facts
• Between 1990 and 2002, there were 1,576 15-passenger vans involved in fatal crashes.
• Of those crashes, there were 1,111 van occupant fatalities.
• 657 of those crashes were fatal, single-vehicle crashes, of which 349 rolled over.
• 92 percent of belted van occupants survived.
• Roughly 61 percent of occupants killed in single-vehicle van crashes were ejected.
• The ejection rate for unbelted occupants is 72 percent, as opposed to 18 percent for restrained occupants.
Drivers of 15-passenger vans need to be well trained. This type of vehicle handles so much differently than even family-sized minivans. It’s also important to properly inspect and maintain a passenger van. Always check the tire pressure before long trips. Victims of rollover crashes are often facing extensive medical bills and lengthy recovery periods. If you or a loved one has been injured in a 15-passenger van rollover crash, contact the experienced team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1-877-231-9970 for a free case consultation.