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15 Passenger Van Rollover Accidents

Video: Brian Chase, an auto defect attorney Talks to CBC News Television about the Dangers of 15 Passenger Vans

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15 passenger vans are used by various groups and organizations due to their ability to transport a large amount of people and their accompanying cargo. Many people who drive or are passengers in these vans are unaware of the risks of rollover accidents and subsequent injuries involved. These types of vehicles have a higher likelihood than any other vehicle to be involved in dangerous rollover accidents, many of which are single vehicle accidents. This is due to the design of the large vehicle, which when it is fully loaded with passengers and cargo becomes unstable and may fishtail and rollover.

According to a CBS special report, the 15 passenger van is one of the most dangerous vehicles on the road.

'These vans looks like any other van, except they have been lengthened to hold more riders. The problem is, when the van is fully loaded, it is three times more likely to roll over in an emergency. All the American carmakers build a version of the van. Ford sells the most.

Step off a plane and the airport hotel is likely to pick you up in a 15-passenger van. Back home at the day care center, the kids are climbing aboard. Often it's the shuttle for the park & ride, the lift to the university. The YMCA drives them, the Post Office, too. And when Disabled American Veterans move en masse to lobby Congress, it's the 15-passenger van that carries them.

They seem to be everywhere. There are about 500,000 of them on the road. Millions of Americans who ride in them don't give them a thought until the unique character of the van is suddenly, tragically revealed.'

Why are the 15 passenger vans so dangerous?

Fifteen-passenger vans are popular small vehicles for many organizations that need to transport small groups over long distances -- groups like school sports teams, church youth groups, senior center groups or summer campers. But even though thousands of organizations entrust these vans with their members' safety each year, we now know that the vans don't deserve our trust.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 15-passenger vans are more likely to be involved in a single-vehicle rollover accident than any other type of vehicle. A study by the NHTSA shows that 15-passenger vans are more than twice as likely to roll over when filled to above half their capacity than when they're at or under half of their capacity. That is, when used for their intended purpose -- carrying large numbers of people -- the vans are significantly more likely to be involved in a fatal accident. That's because their center of gravity shifts upward and backward, a design flaw that makes the van more difficult to control in an emergency.

Mistakes made by the driver and organizers of the van's trip may also be a factor in crashes. According to the NHTSA, the following are mistakes that increase the chances of a rollover accident:

  • Overloading the van with more than 15 passengers.
  • Not requiring everyone to wear a seat belt or age-appropriate child restraint.
  • Not requiring passengers in a partially empty van to sit in front of the rear axle, preventing dangerous changes in the van's center of gravity.
  • Storing luggage on the roof.
  • Overinflating or underinflating tires, which can cause the vans to handle differently.
  • Not leaving enough space and distance between the van and other vehicles to accommodate the van's large size and weight.

If you or a loved one have been in an accident involving a 15-passenger van and are considering legal action, you need an experienced van rollover attorney with proven results. The lawyers at BISNAR | CHASE have decades of experience aggressively representing victims of 15-passenger van accidents and auto accidents. We've recovered tens of millions in settlements with major automobile manufacturers and others for auto accident victims and families.

For a free, confidential case evaluation please call 949-203-3814 or complete our easy free legal case review request.

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