Passenger vans accommodate 12─15 people. They are commonly used by churches, airports, colleges, resorts, tour and travel agencies, and daycare and eldercare centers, among other organizations. They are convenient to use for larger groups of people that do not require a bus. However, they also create unusual danger to occupants.
Passenger Vans Create Unique Dangers for Occupants
Passenger vans are taller, longer, and wider than other vehicles and pose unique dangers. For instance, drivers must rely heavily on side mirrors to change lanes. The braking distances are also greater. The risk of rollover accidents is also a concern in passenger cans. Research shows that when 10 or more passengers in a 15-seat van, the rollover rate is three times as high as a van carrying five or fewer people. Some accidents can also be attributed to vehicle design, inadequate maintenance, dangerous roadways, and driver negligence.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) acknowledges that passenger vans fall into a gray area. In 2013, they recommended that even though drivers of passenger vans are not required to have a Commercial Driver’s License, “only experienced drivers familiar with their handling should operate [them].”
The NHTSA also stresses the importance of properly inflated tires to prevent rollover crashes. Tire pressure should be checked more than once for long trips. Vans should not be overloaded; roof-top luggage racks should not be used; cargo should be positioned in front of the rear axle; and vans should never tow anything. Passengers need to be seated and wear seatbelts as well.
If you are the innocent victim of a passenger van crash, you deserve compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Contact an auto accident attorney to protect your rights.
Take Action Quickly
In order to protect your rights, it is important to contact a lawyer so that you can take action as soon as possible. The sooner that you take action, the more likely it is that evidence will be available to help you prove your claim and that the more likely it is that you will get a fair recovery sooner.
We encourage you to contact us today via this website or by phone to schedule a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation with attorney Ben Crittenden. After that, you can make an informed decision about how to protect your legal rights.