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Rollover Problems Associated With Passenger Vans

May 28, 2017

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigates catastrophic transportation events and also researches various modes of transportation to make vehicular travel on our nation's roads safer and more efficient. Passenger van travel is an effective method of transporting a small group. Typically, passenger vans accommodate fifteen people — one driver and fourteen passengers. Passenger vans have a greater likelihood of rolling over as the number of passengers increase, according to NHTSA research. Drivers of passenger vans must be aware of the potential risk and take the precautions necessary to avoid serious injury or death.

How Does A Rollover Happen?

The NHTSA's research indicates that 90% of all rollover accidents occur when the vehicle is "tripped." In this context, "tripped" means that the vehicle goes off of the road and turns sideways. When this happens, the tires can dig into the soft ground adjacent to the road surface or hit something in the road or alongside the road, such as a guardrail.

Motor vehicles can turn sideways when a driver loses control of the car and aggressively over-corrects.  They can also rollover quite dramatically when they strike a guardrail. Another common rollover scenario happens when the auto is carrying a load on its roof that is excessive in weight. The NHTSA calls this an "untripped" rollover. Untripped rollovers occur when an overloaded vehicle swerves to avoid striking something or swerves at high speeds but stays on the road, and the weight of the payload throws the vehicle off balance, causing it to rollover.  Excessive weight causes approximately 5% of rollover accidents.

Passenger Van drivers must take precautions to prevent rollover crashes. The NHTSA, during one study, found that 80% of people killed in passenger van rollover crashes were not wearing a seatbelt. Therefore, one of the most important measures a passenger van operator must take is to ensure all occupants use their seatbelts. Passenger van operators must make sure that all seatbelts are in good repair and operate correctly before each use.

The NHTSA offers further recommendations for passenger van safety. Passenger van drivers have a greater responsibility than other drivers because of the size of vehicle they are operating. Drivers should be well-trained to drive a full complement of passengers. Although not required in most states, passenger van drivers should have a commercial driver's license (CDL). Also, the van driver must check the tire pressure and the wear of all tires before each voyage. Accordingly, each driver should limit their drive time to eight hours and avoid distractions such as using a cell phone, manipulating the radio, or engaging in some other behavior that averts the driver's attention off of the road. The driver should not drive at excessive speeds and also enough space between the van and other vehicles to maneuver safely as necessary. Lastly, vans should not tow anything nor should they carry cargo on the roof. Overloading the van increases the chances it will roll over if the driver must take evasive action to avoid a collision.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 39 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

if you have been injured in any accident caused by someone else's negligence, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 39 years, 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 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 and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour live chat.


Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law

17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
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Category: Auto Accidents

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.

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