Your child may ride in a 15-passenger van to and from their daycare center, church and even a number of other activities. But now, federal law prohibits their use by public school systems. The truth of the matter is they’re still being used to transport kids to other places and we need to make sure that they’re safe!
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 15-passenger vans aren’t like smaller passenger vans. These bigger vans have a higher rollover rate under certain conditions. Because of these risks for rollover accidents, it’s important that owners and drivers are paying attention to the maintenance on the van and on the condition of the road. It’s also important that the driver has experience and is knowledgeable in driving these vehicles.
Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys understand that these kinds of rollover accidents are most likely to happen because of tire failure. NHTSA research concludes that these accidents are most commonly the result of underinflated tires. They’re also likely to happen when tires are worn. The owners and the drivers of these vehicles need to be especially diligent in keeping the proper air pressure in these tires and must remain aware of the condition of the tires. They should always be replaced when instructed by the tire manufacturer.
Top Safety Recommendations for 15-Passenger Vans:
-Tire Pressure: Be sure that you check the tire pressure before each time you get behind the wheel. Make sure they’re properly inflated and that the tread on the tires is not worn. When conditions are poor, drivers can easily lose control of the vehicle. It’s also important that you make sure that each tire has the same amount of pressure.
-Spare Tires: Make sure that these tires are also properly inflated. Remember they can weaken with age, even when they’re never used.
-Pay Attention: Drivers should always pay attention and should be well-rested behind the wheel. Keep cell phones out of the driver’s seat, too.
-Don’t Speed: The faster you’re going the higher your risks are for an accident.
-Overloading: Know how much your van can hold and make sure to stay under those limitations. Over-packed vehicles are more prone to rollover accidents.
If you’re planning on driving one of these vans, you don’t have to have a special driver’s license. Only vehicles with 16 or more occupants required a commercial driver’s license (CDL). However, driving these vans is much different than driving an ordinary passenger vehicle. Drivers who are not familiar with driving vans of this size may be unfamiliar with the way the vans handle and how they should be maintained. Drivers are asked to be safe and aware of all of the safety precautions that need to be taken to help to insure that they, and all of their passengers, make it to and from their destination safely!
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car crash, contact the injury lawyers of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
More Red-Light Cameras in Boynton Beach?, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, September 30, 2012
Distracted Driving: An Epidemic with No End in Sight for Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, September 9, 2012