Passenger Van Safety Overview
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), passenger vans handle very differently from smaller passenger vehicles. They have different dimensions, require additional braking distances, and are prone to rollover crashes. The primary risk for an accident in a passenger van is rollover due to:
- Inexperienced drivers
- Improperly sized and/or inflated tires
- Incorrectly loaded cargo and passengers that affect center of gravity
Passenger Van Facts and Statistics
- 58 people died in passenger van accidents in 2006.
- In 2007, there were 69 fatalities, 20% more than in 2006.
- In 2006, 50% of occupant fatalities in passenger vans occurred in vans that were fully loaded.
- 50% or more of all passenger van crashes causing fatalities involve a rollover.
- 31% of fatal rollovers involving 15-passenger vans occur during the busy summer travel months.
- June, July, and August are the deadliest months for 15-passenger van occupants in rollover crashes.
Passenger Van Safety Tips
In order to decrease the chances of a rollover accident, the NHTSA offers the following passenger van safety tips.
- Don’t Use as a School Bus- Federal regulations do not prohibit the use of vans by schools, but require any van (with a capacity of more than 10) sold or leased for use as a school bus to meet the safety standards applicable to school buses.
- Check Your Tires- Always inspect tires and check tire pressure before each trip. Vehicle specific information can be found on the placard on the driver’s side B-pillar or in the owner’s manual.
- Slow Down- Drivers should never exceed the posted speed limit. Van drivers should be especially careful as their high center of gravity increases the chances of a rollover accident.
- Don’t Overload- Overloading a vehicle with people or cargo can increase the chances of a rollover accident and can affect tire pressure and tread.
- Buy a Safer Van- Purchasing a safe vehicle to begin with can help decrease the risk of injury in an accident. The NHTSA’s Vehicle Shopping Guide can help consumers find the safest vehicles.
Contact An Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
Because of the serious consequences of car accidents, a law firm experienced in these matters is crucial in order to preserve your rights. Thomas J. Henry have a proven track record of success in handling car accident cases and fighting for what injured victims deserve. Contact us 24/7, nights and weekends for immediate assistance.
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