A pair of deadly 15-passenger van accidents has the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issuing a warning to churches, schools, and other organizations that use them for transportation.
A church van overturned in Georgia earlier this month after blowing a tire; four passengers were killed and 15 were injured. Last month, six passengers were killed in a New York van accident. Our West Palm Beach injury lawyers understand the complexities of such accidents and have the experience necessary to represent accident victims in cases where there are competing injury or wrongful death claims. Whether a church, soup kitchen, nursing home facility or other group, an organization has an obligation to ensure the safe passage of its members, customers or guests.
Such vans are frequently used by schools, churches, nursing homes and other organizations and the fall and winter driving season increases the risk of an accident. The NHTSA reports that tire maintenance is critical to preventing tragedies like the recent fatal rollover crashes.
“Users of 15-passenger vans need to make sure the vehicles have appropriately-sized tires that are properly inflated before every trip,” the government reports. The government also discourages the use of spare tires to replace worn tires because tires degrade over time. A tire more than 10 years old should not be used at all.
The government is specifically addressing the advisory toward church groups, colleges and schools and other nonprofit organizations that use older 15-passenger vans. The agency says primary and secondary schools should not use the vans to transport children at all because they do not provide the same level of safety as school buses.
It is also against federal law to buy new 15-passenger vans for school transportation purposes.
Safety tips for 15-passenger vans include:
-Make sure the vehicles is properly maintained.
-Drivers need to be fully trained and experienced in operating a 15-passenger van.
-The 15-passenger vans are very sensitive to overloading and should not be overloaded under any circumstances. Overloading not only increases the risk of rollover, it also negatively impacts handling.
-Tire inflation and wear should be checked before every trip.
-Passengers should wear seat belts.
Here you can find additional safety information for 15-passenger vans.
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