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15-passenger vans result in some fatal accidents

Posted on August 1, 2011

August is around the corner, and summer outings will kick into high gear before September rolls around and the regular work year and school year begin. Participating in group events adds to the enjoyment for many, with groups and organizations taking people on trips to near and far adventures. Many groups use 15-passenger vans to transport people on trips, and as a result of some fatal accidents involving these vans, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a press release last year with safety tips. We’d like to offer these tips again, to keep everyone safe through summer and beyond:

  • Maintain the vehicle. Since many groups don’t have outings everyday, these 15-passenger vans may not be used often. Always make sure the vehicle is properly maintained, and have it checked before using it.
  • Allow only Drivers with experience. Make sure that whoever is driving the van is properly trained and licensed to drive this bigger type of vehicle. Driving a 15-passenger van is different from driving a car.
  • Proper loading is critical. 15-passenger vans are longer, higher, wider, and have a higher center of gravity. They must be properly loaded in order to ensure they will be safe to operate on the road. 15-passenger vans have been involved in fatal rollover accidents. Overloading increases the risk of a rollover, and also makes the vehicle more difficult to handle.
  • Tires are the right size. As with any vehicle, tires should be the right size, and have the correct amount of tread, and inflation.
  • Slow down. Always allow enough distance between the vehicle in front and the vehicle you’re in. 15-passenger vans require greater stopping distances.
  • Don’t use as a school bus. 15-passenger vans should not be used as a school bus without being checked for safety standards that apply to school buses. Don’t use a 15-passenger van to transport children to school or on school trips without being sure that the van is safe for that purpose.

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