This time of year, school groups, church groups, and colleges use 15-passenger vans to carry passengers to field trips, camping trips, retreats, trips to the airport and sight seeing. Group trips by passenger van can be very enjoyable and an economical way for groups to travel. However, special attention needs to be paid to safety because 15-passenger vans are sensitive to loading. When overloaded and with inexperienced drivers at the wheel, 15-passenger vans may be at higher risk for rollover accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides some safety tips for those driving and responsible for 15-passenger vans.
It is important to ensure that tire pressure on both front and back tires be at manufacture recommended levels. Tire inflation should be checked before each and every trip and tires that are 10 years and older should be replaced.
Drivers of 15-passenger vans should be experienced drivers with valid driver’s license. Drivers should be well rested before driving. Many institutions have driver training for vans since 15-passenger vans are longer and wider than passenger cars and drivers must rely on side mirrors for changing lines.
Drivers should have some behind-the-wheel experience because the heavier vans require additional braking time and they do not respond to steering as other vehicles do.
Passengers should be sure to buckle-up for every trip. Passengers should also avoid distracting behaviors which could take the driver’s mind off of the road.
15-passenger vans should not be overloaded because overloading can make the van unstable.
Owners of 15-passenger vans should make sure the vans are well-maintained and insure that the suspension and steering components are inspected at the manufacturer’s schedule.
Contact a King County Bus Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured or disabled in a passenger van accident in the Seattle-Bellevue-Tacoma metropolitan area or throughout Washington state, The Farber Law Group is here to help. CALL US TOLL FREE at 1-800-244-9087. We provide a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL case consultation.