15 Passenger Van Accidents
The 15 passenger van is known to be one of the most dangerous passenger vehicles allowed on the road today. Because of their unique construction, these vans pose an abnormally high crash risk to their passengers and a higher than average risk of rolling over. The more passengers it contains, the greater its risk of rolling over.
A study completed by the United States Department of Transportation showed that a 15 passenger van with 11 passengers, close to maximum capacity, is 3 times more likely to role than the same van with 5 passengers. With clear evidence showing that they are a road hazard, some wonder why these vans are allowed on the road at all.
While they have been proven to be dangerous at even half their capacity, 15 passenger vans are still legal in the United States. In fact, many schools, organizations, and other groups rely on them frequently. Some common groups that use 15 passenger vans include:
- Day cares: For school pick-ups and field trips
- Religious groups: Field trips, mission trips, retreats
- Scout groups: Camp outs, adventure trips
- Hotels: airport pick-ups and drop offs
- Park and ride: Rides to the airport from home or the parking lot
These are just a few of the common uses of 15 passenger vans. Tragically, many passengers are killed each year in a large van collision or rollover.
Fishtailing and Rollover Risks
The reason that 15 passenger vans are so prone to accidents lies in their unique construction. These vans look like most vans, except that the back end has been elongated to accommodate more passengers. When the van is loaded, much of the weight of the passengers rests on the back axle, making the back end heavier than the front end. This makes the van prone to fishtailing because the van cannot be adequately steered and controlled with the additional weight.
Rollovers are also a major risk for a similar reason. With more passengers, the van becomes more top heavy. 15 passenger vans are tall vehicles with a high center of gravity, and with more passengers the vehicle has a greater chance of tipping over, causing a rollover. Rollovers can be deadly, especially at high speeds at which passengers may suffer serious head trauma, neck and spine injuries, and other life-threatening injuries.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a 15 passenger van accident, consider talking with a car accident lawyer immediately. The vehicle manufacturer may be liable for your accident and your family may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages.
To learn more about 15 passenger van safety hazards and accident liability, please contact the Sheboygan car accident lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® today at 800-242-2874.