15 Passenger Van Accidents
Written by greg on April 20, 2012
One common form of large group transportation is the 15 passenger (including the driver) van. These are actually classified as buses which allow them to be held to higher federal safety standards. They come with five rows of seats. Currently there are only half a million of these vans registered in the United States and only 3 companies produce them. In this case, states must follow federal standards for commercial drivers that actually address requirements for drivers of vans designed to carry at least 16 occupants to hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Therefore, the fifteen-seater does not necessarily need to special licensing guidelines unless the states themselves impose their own restrictions if vans are used commercially.
15 Passenger Vans Pose a Danger
Frankly, this poses a danger to unsuspecting passengers if the driver is not familiar with operating a larger vehicle. There are several nuances to commandeering these vans. First, they have sluggish acceleration and a higher center of gravity which gives them a tendency to roll in certain situations. Too, research has shown that in 15 passenger van accidents the passengers are at greater risk than the driver.
Too, studies have shown that in the case of these large vehicles – seatbelts would be an excellent deterrent to the number and severity of injuries as well as fatalities in the case of an accident. (Surprise, surprise?) Another safety feature is the electronic stability control feature that helps a driver maintain control by reducing the risk of rollover. Design alternatives are also possible that could make heavily loaded vehicles much safer.
If your child’s sports team or church group relies on fifteen passenger vans for transport – be sure there are seatbelts, an experienced driver and ESC.
Greg Baumgartner is a 15 passenger van accident attorney and the founder of the Baumgartner law firm, which is dedicated to helping personal injury victims seek civil justice. If you would like to speak with a van accident lawyer call the Baumgartner firm.