Do 15-Passenger Vans Have an Increased Risk of Rollover Accidents?

NHTSA warns of 15-passenger van risks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently issued a warning about the dangers of 15-passenger vans. NHTSA warns that these vehicles are dangerous in the hands of inexperienced drivers.

According to NHTSA, 15-passenger vans have a high center of gravity that increases the risk of a rollover accident. Statistics published by NHTSA show that rollovers cause roughly 60 percent of crashes involving these vehicles. In addition, older models of these vans may lack modern safety features that can prevent other types of accidents.

There are a few reasons why 15-passenger vans can suffer a rollover accident. First, these vehicles are more likely to roll over when drivers make quick maneuvers. Tire blowouts can also cause these vehicles to suffer a rollover accident.

Reducing the Risk of a Rollover While Driving a 15-Passenger Van

NHTSA has some helpful suggestions that can reduce the risk of an accident while driving a 15-passenger van.

  1. Check the tires. You should check the tires (including the spare) before using one of these vehicles. Shallow tread depth or general wear and tear can increase the risk of a blowout and rollover accident. Spare tires, while they may appear new, can also be dangerous to use if they are several years old.
  2. Obtain a commercial driver’s license. NHTSA maintains that only drivers with the proper experience should drive these vehicles. A commercial driver’s license is recommended.
  3. Avoid overloading the vehicle. The risk of a rollover accident increases when these vans contain too many passengers. According to NHTSA, you should never have more than 15 passengers while driving these vehicles. Luggage or cargo can also overload these vehicles. Avoid stacking cargo on the roof of the vehicle.
  4. Stay attentive and well-rested. NHTSA says that only drivers who are attentive and well-rested should operate 15-passenger vans. Drivers who are distracted or tired can increase the risk of an accident.
  5. Drive safely. Never drive above the posted speed limit in these vehicles. Slow down when there are wet or slippery weather conditions.

If you or a loved one suffer harm while riding in or driving one of these vehicles, then you should contact an attorney. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to recover compensation for any injuries or loss. The Washington DC auto accident attorneys at Regan Zambri Long PLLC can help you determine whether it would be possible to seek compensation.