15-Passenger Van Accidents
Fifteen-passenger vans are frequently used as airport shuttles, as senior citizen transports, and as school and church vans. Most drivers see at least one every time they are driving on the roads. Unfortunately, they are also dangerous in that they pose a high risk for rollover.
This rollover risk occurs because the vans ironically become unstable when 10 or more people are loaded aboard. The higher center of gravity caused by the passengers reduces the amount of resistance the vehicle has when turning corners, and this can cause the vehicle to overturn if corners are not taken carefully. This reduced resistance also makes the van hard to maneuver if an emergency situation comes about. It is these issues that have resulted in accidents that have caused severe injury and death.
Causes Of 15-Passenger Van Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) researched why 15-passenger van accidents are so common. It was found that the when 10 or more people ride in a 15 passenger van, the passenger weight raises the vehicle’s center of gravity and causes it to shift rearward. Passenger van rollover accidents tend to occur when the driver loses control of the ungainly vehicle.The higher the speed the driver is traveling, the more likely it is that the vehicle will roll over. Over-inflation of van tires can add to the instability.
Passengers in these vans are often not wearing seat belts, and are tumbled around inside the overturning vehicle suffering enormous harm. When a person seeks out the help of a Minnesota 15-passenger van accident attorney, it is usually because they are wishing to hold the driver responsible for not maintaining control, thus causing their injuries in the crash, or because the manufacturer knew of the vehicles dangerous propensities and failed to take corrective action.
In more than 90 percent of the 15-passenger van crashes the NHTSA studied, the vans flipped after the driver lost control of the vehicle and ran off the edge of the road. This caused the tires on one side to catch the median or grass and flip the vehicle over. The experience of the driver has an impact on how likely it is for the vehicle to lose control. Experience is also a factor in how the driver corrects a mistake — overcorrection can cause these vehicles to slide sideways and roll over.
There are measures that drivers should take when driving a 15-passenger van to prevent these accidents. If the right safety precautions are not taken, then there is a high risk for an accident.
Drivers should drive slowly on rural roads, avoid driving conditions that can cause a loss of control, gradually reduce speed if the wheels leave the roadway and carefully steer toward the road, and maintain their tires. Knowing these simple steps can make a considerable difference. However, there are times when vehicle defects or an inexperienced, distracted or intoxicated driver can lead to a tragic accident.
Contact A Minnesota 15-Passenger Van Accident Attorney
Fifteen-passenger vans are at a high risk for rollover accidents, which typically result in severe injuries. The Meshbesher Law Firm wants to help you if you have been involved in a 15-passenger van accident or if you have a loved one injured or killed in such a crash. To learn about the rights and options available to you, call us at 612-349-5215 for a free consultation.