Whether you’re going on a business trip or a church retreat, there are a few important safety concerns to know prior to any trip in a 12 of 15-passenger van. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has important safety and maintenance tips for anybody who owns or drives a passenger van. Unfortunately, 15-passenger vans have a rollover risk that greatly increases as the number of occupants increases from less than five to over 10.
Passenger Van Crash Statistics
- In 2007, fatalities to occupants of 15-passenger vans increased nearly 20 percent from the previous year.
- About one-fourth of fatally injured occupants of 15-passenger vans, over the last five years, were drivers.
- About 80 percent of the fatally injured van occupants in rollovers in the past five years were not buckled up at the time of the crash.
- The median age group for drivers killed in 15-passenger vans is 45 to 54, and the median age group for passengers killed is 25 to 34.
Passenger Van Tire Safety
Tire pressure is critically important for the safe operation of these vans. Tire pressure and wear should be checked before every use because a blowout could lead to a deadly rollover crash. In many cases, these vans aren’t used every day, so it’s important that tires be checked often and before any trips. Equally important is making sure that the spare isn’t old or worn out.
Driver and Occupant Safety Concerns
The NHTSA is quick to point out that 12 and 15-passenger vans should only be driven by trained and experienced drivers. When fully loaded, these vehicles drive much differently than traditional light passenger vehicles. Drivers need to be well rested and attentive to the road at all times. Drivers should never exceed the speed limit and make sure all cargo is properly secured forward of the rear axle. It’s also important to avoid placing any cargo on the roof, which can increase the likelihood of a rollover crash. Finally, the driver should ensure all occupants are safely buckled up before the trip.
If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a 15-passenger van crash in San Diego or anywhere along the Central Coast, contact Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS for a free case consultation.