Many community organizations, summer camps, and church groups use passenger
vans for summer trips. While these vehicles are convenient, they are prone
to dangerous rollover crashes if not maintained properly.
Although they are smaller than buses, 15-passenger vans are substantially
longer and taller than most light vehicles. As a result, they are at greater
risk for a rollover crash if operators do not conduct routine safety checks
and follow proper tire maintenance.
According to the latest statistics, an average of 65 Americans die in accidents
while riding in 15-passenger vans every year. From 2004 and 2013, there
were 653 fatalities. Nearly 60 percent of the deadly crashes involved
vans that rolled over.
Due to the potential for multiple serious injuries or deaths in crashes
involving these vehicles, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
(NHTSA) recently issued a safety advisory. The agency highlights that
verifying that 15-passenger vans are equipped with tires of the correct
size and load rating, as well as properly inflated, will help reduce the
chance of a rollover crash.
To stay safe on summer road trips in these vehicles, the agency also offers
the following safety tips for both operators and passengers:
- If you are a passenger, make sure you buckle up for every trip.
- If you are a driver, before every trip, check the tires for proper inflation,
and make sure there are no signs of wear or damage. Correct tire size
and inflation pressure information can be found in the owner’s manual
and on the driver’s side door pillar.
- Never overload the vehicle.
- Never drink and drive.
- If you are an owner, make sure the vehicle is regularly maintained.
- Owners should have suspension and steering components inspected according
to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule and replace or repair
these parts as necessary.
- Owners should ensure that vehicles are equipped with properly sized and
- Owners should follow manufacturer guidance on when to replace tires, including
- Owners should also make sure drivers are properly licensed and experienced
in operating a 15-passenger van.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a San Diego motor
vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to
contacta San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.