Many people like the convenience of 15-passenger vans for school groups, church activities, or sporting teams. It’s nice to be able to pile everyone into one vehicle for a tournament or family reunion. Perhaps you hopped aboard one yourself to the airport recently without a second thought. However, many people do not realize the dangers of these popular vans. In fact, they are far more accident prone than other vehicles.
Not surprisingly, there is an uptick in accidents involving 15-passenger vans in the summer months, when more people are on the road traveling for events and vacations. Before you rent a van for your outing, it’s important to consider the risks and safety considerations first.
You may wonder what makes these popular vans more dangerous than other vehicles. The simplest answer: it’s their rollover risk. While they can hold up to 15 passengers, the rollover risk increases exponentially when there are more than 10 passengers in the van. Having a full van shifts the center of gravity up and to the back, making it less stable when quick maneuvers are needed or an increase in speed.
A few additional things to consider:
Still not convinced? The US Code §30112 prohibits schools from leasing or purchasing 12- or 15-passenger vans for their use due to safety concerns.
The best way to stay safe is to choose another transportation option, if available. Despite the concerns, perhaps you’ve decided that a 15-passenger van is still the best choice for your group. If so, there are measures you can take that will limit your risk.
For additional information, please see NHTSA’s PDF, Top Safety Recommendations for 15-Passenger Van Use.
If you’ve been a victim of a van crash, please call our law offices. You may be eligible to receive compensation.
In a passenger van accident, there may be multiple responsible parties and an experienced personal injury lawyer can help investigate and pursue all sources of funds on your behalf. There’s no cost to schedule a free consultation at either our Tacoma or Olympia location. Please reach out.