NHTSA Recommendations for Reducing 15-Passenger Van Rollover Accidents


January 31, 2013

Our Georgia 15-passenger vans accident attorneys are well aware of the serious dangers posed by these dangerous motor vehicles. Excursions that involve church choral groups, civic organizations, nursing homes and other groups often means a spike in use of 15-passenger vans.

These motor vehicles are so prone to rolling over and causing serious injuries that many insurance companies will not even provide coverage for these vehicles. Because 15-passenger vans pose such a significant risk of harm, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced a number of precautions to reduce the danger of serious accidents involving these vehicles:

Because 15-passenger vans have a high center of gravity, they are more prone to roll over in accidents. When the tires on one of these converted cargo vans are bald, blowout or lack proper tire pressure, the risk of a rollover accident is even greater. One of the most important precautions when traveling in a 15-passenger van is to carefully inspect the tires prior to a trip for dry rot, tread wear, age and proper pressure. The NHTSA emphasizes the importance of determining that tires are not old, worn or underinflated. Underinflated tires cause higher tire temperature and faster tire deterioration.

The NHTSA also recommends that only experienced drivers operate 15-passenger vans because they present such a high risk of being involved in a rollover accident. Given the unique handling characteristics of a 15-passenger van, only an operator experienced with these top heavy elongated vehicles should drive them. Inexperienced drivers that do not understand the way these vehicle react when being maneuvered increase the risk to passengers. The federal agency recommends that these vehicles be operated by a driver with special training in driving these vehicles.

Because of the rollover risk associated with 15-passenger vans, it is also critical that drivers avoid speeding and distracted driving because these factors also increase the risk of rollover accidents. Over half of all 15-passenger vans involved in single-vehicle accidents roll over in collisions compared to a third of passenger cars according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Eight in ten vehicle occupant deaths involving 15-passenger vans occur in rollovers.

These large passenger vans also should not be loaded with more than ten passengers. The risk of a rollover accident is three times higher when a 15-passenger van transports more than ten occupants. When these passenger vans are fully loaded with passengers and cargo, the vehicle weight shifts up and back toward the rear of the vehicle which makes the vehicle less stable.

Our Atlanta 15-passenger van accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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