With families and other groups headed on vacation or other activity-related outings throughout the summer months, federal safety officials are reporting the increase of 15-passenger van rollover accidents from June through August. New data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that 31% of all deadly 15-passenger van rollovers occur during this time period. Officials are warning van drivers to execute the proper safety measures to prevent these auto crashes from happening.
The NHTSA says that the chances of a 15-passenger van rollover increases when the vehicle is fully loaded with people and cargo. 50% of 15-passenger van deaths in 2006 occurred in vans that were loaded to full capacity. 59% of those who died were not using seatbelts. While the number of deaths involving 15-passenger vans has decreased over the years, there were still 58 fatalities in 2006.
While 15-passenger vans are supposedly made to safely transport large groups of people and cargo to and from their destinations, federal safety studies show that the more passengers and cargo are loaded in the van, the greater the chances of a rollover accident happening.
15-passenger vans have a high center of gravity. This gravity center moves up and back the more occupants there are in the van, which increases the chances of the van turning over.
Once a 15-passenger van rollovers, occupants tend to be even more prone to injuries because:
• There is insufficient crash padding to protect passengers when they are thrown against the van
• Lack of emergency exits
• Insufficient structural integrity to prevent the van from collapsing
Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, major internal injuries, and death can result in rollover accidents.
In South Florida, our 15-passenger van rollover accident lawyers can help you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against a negligent driver, or, if we find that you operated and loaded the van correctly and you were still involved in an auto crash because of defects in the van’s design or due to vehicle malfunction, we can pursue a case against the van’s manufacturer.
Fatalities to Occupants of 15-Passenger Vans, NHTSA, May 2008 (PDF)
Related Web Resources:
Reducing the Risk of Rollover Crashes in 15-Passenger Vans, NHTSA.gov
15-Passenger Vans: High-Riding Death Traps, SafetyForum.com
Contact David J. Halberg, PA today.