Sunday, June 26

NHTSA Warning on the Hazards of 15-Passenger Vans

From: The United States Department of Transportation

"The newly released NHTSA research reinforces the fact that 15-passenger vans have a rollover risk that increases dramatically as the number of occupants increases to full capacity. In fact, the likelihood of a rollover when a van is fully loaded is about five times greater than when the vehicle contains only a driver. While an increased likelihood of rollover is present for other types of fully loaded passenger vehicles, it is most pronounced for 15-passenger vans."

Among the safety recommendations are the following:
  • It is important that 15-passenger vans be operated by trained, experienced drivers.
  • Insist that all occupants wear safety belts at all times. In fact, 76 percent of those who died in 15-passenger van rollovers nationwide in single vehicle crashes from 1990 to 2002 were not buckled up. An unrestrained 15-passenger van occupant involved in a single vehicle crash is about three times as likely to be killed as a restrained occupant.
  • If possible, have passengers and cargo forward of the rear axle and avoid placing any loads on the roof.
  • Check your tires: Excessively worn or improperly inflated tires can lead to a loss-of-control situation and a rollover. At least once a month, check that the vans tires are properly inflated and the tread is not worn down.
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