12- and 15-Passenger Vans Present Unique Safety Problems
With the popularity of passenger vans for small groups booming, the risks of deadly rollover accidents increase. The height, length, and width of 12- or 15-passenger vans tend to exceed that of most trucks and cars, and van drivers must possess different driving skills to operate these vehicles safely. For example, the van's side mirrors must always be used when making a traffic lane change. If you or a member of your family have sustained injuries in an accident while riding in a passenger van, contact our experienced passenger van accident lawyers. We can explain your legal rights and options and help you protect those rights.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which facilitates transportation safety via regulations and guidelines, it has been selected to handle the safety threat posed by 12- and 15- passenger vans by providing recommendations instead of mandatory requirements. The agency now recommends that drivers of passenger vans have a commercial driver's license. However, there is no legal requirement that van drivers possess a commercial driving license.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also urges van drivers to always check tire air pressure before driving, restrict the number of passengers to below the maximum occupancy, limit roof cargo, and mandate seatbelt use by all passengers.
These safeguards are designed to reduce rollover accidents and vehicle ejections. Tragically, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is only offering suggestions, so passenger van rollovers will continue to remain a deadly threat to occupant safety. Passenger vans are prone to roll over due to the high center of gravity and the van's seating configuration. While only 25% of single-car passenger accidents lead to a rollover, almost half of passenger van accidents are rollover accidents.
If you or a loved one are injured in a rollover passenger van accident, your accident claim could become more complicated because of the multiple parties that may be involved. These claims usually involve the driver, the driver of another vehicle, other passengers, the organization that owns or pays for the van, the van manufacturer, and others.
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