The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is warning 15-passenger
van users to drive safely this summer. New research shows that the number
of deadly 15-passenger van rollovers increases between June through August,
with 31% of all 15-passenger van rollover accidents occurring during this
busy travel period.
While the number of 15-passenger van deaths continues to decline, too many accident fatalities and injuries that are still happening. 58 people died in 15-passenger van accidents in 2006. Just this year, in British Columbia, 8 people died when a 15-passenger van fishtailed and ran into a large truck.
While driver inexperience, driver negligence, and improper maintenance can lead to 15-passenger van accidents, another major problem is the way the 15-passenger vans are designed. The more occupants riding in a 15-passenger van, the more prone it is to becoming involved in a rollover crash because its gravity center moves back and up.
This makes the 15-passenger van harder to control during an emergency situation and means that even if the van is used as intended and designed, with no more than 15 passengers riding the van, occupants are at risk of serious injury or death in the event of a rollover accident or a collision with another motor vehicle.
Placing cargo on top of a 15-passenger van can also increase the risks of a rollover. The NHTSA also has found that 15-passenger vans are more likely to be involved in a single-auto rollover collision than other motor vehicles.
15-passenger van accidents and rollovers can lead to serious injuries, including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, head injuries, neck injuries, and death. While the US federal government has banned school districts from using 15-passenger vans, there are still many 15-passenger vans driving on US roads.
Our auto products liability law firm represents injury victims and their families throughout the United States with 15-passenger van lawsuits against the vans’ manufacturers.
Nation’s Top Vehicle Safety Official Urges 15-Passenger Van Users to Drive with Caution this Summer, NHTSA.gov, May 12, 2008
Federal probe sought into 15-passenger vans after deadly school trip, CBC.ca, January 15, 2008
Related Web Resource:
Reducing the Risks of Rollover Vans in 15-Passenger Vans, NHTSA.gov
Study Confirms 15-Passenger Van Rollover Risk, Consumer Affairs, May 26, 2005
Contact Gilbert & Ollanik PC to schedule your free consultation with an experienced defective auto products liability lawyer.