Quite frequently 15 passenger vans are used to transport the elderly, church groups, day care kids, commuters, and college/school sports teams. These van drivers need special training and are required to pass a driver’s test. When loaded to full capacity these vehicles handle differently than smaller vehicles.
Our North Carolina injury lawyers have spoken before about the dangers of such vans. This holiday travel season, we encourage organizations to ensure the proper maintenance of transport vehicles and safety of passengers. Tire pressure and wear can be particularly critical, particularly as we head into winter driving season.
The National Transportation Safety Board and NHTSA issued the following:
-There were 1,512 fatal crashes involving 15 passenger vans between 1994 and 2004
-1/3 of passenger car crashes are of the roll over type, compared to over ½ of 15 passenger van crashes
-74% of 15 passenger vans had a least one tire inflated incorrectly (either over or under inflated) by 25% or more than normal standards for these vehicles
When there are ten or more people in a 15 passenger van the rollover risk rises. Each person in the van causes the van’s rear weight to be uneven. When adding cargo to the roof of the van, the weight distribution shifts again. All these factors make the van harder to control in the event of an emergency. Many older 15 passenger vans were not designed to protect occupants during a rollover accident.
Data from the NHTSA 15 passenger van study showed that their tires had a high percentage of mis-inflation. Combine the conditions under which these vehicles are driven (i.e. transporting groups of children, inexperienced drivers, etc.) and poor tire inflation suggests a need for better van tire awareness.
Helpful tips for driving a 15 passenger van:
-Occupants should always wear seatbelts
-Check all the tires for proper inflation pressure, uneven wear and damage. Low mileage on a tire doesn’t mean they are good.
-Never overload the van with passengers or cargo.
-The driver needs to pass the necessary driving test for driving this type of van.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965. Serving all of North and South Carolina, including Reidsville, Roxboro and Rutherfordton.