Our passenger vans accident lawyers know first-hand these vehicles are extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, these rolling death traps have been many churches and other organization’s primary mode of transporting groups of people. While these 12 and 15 passenger vans are a relatively inexpensive means of transportation for large groups, there are serious concerns regarding their overall safety.
Since 1990 there have been over 1,200 fatal passenger van accidents. Passenger vans are the most likely of any vehicle to be involved in a rollover accident. These vans have been deemed unsafe by the United States government. In fact, the Safe, Accountable, Felxible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA-LU) makes it impossible for schools to purchase or lease new 15 passenger vans. Most state have made it illegal to transport children. Lawyers for those injured in passenger van accidents must have an understanding of federal and state laws to effectively represent those how are injured.
The National Associate of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services released a position paper advising no child should be placed in a passenger van. Instead, they advocate school buses be utilized to transport kids. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report requiring that any bus carrying more than 10 people and carrying children to or from school or a school event meet the school bus safety standards set forth in 49 CFR 571.
The safety problems with passenger vans stem from a major design flaw. Passenger vans are longer, higher and wider than most vehicles on the road, causing them to have a high center of gravity. The inherently awkward design of passenger vans is further compromised when transporting a full load of passengers and cargo. Passenger vans carrying over 10 people can have a center of gravity as high as the vehicle’s steering wheel, which can cause a rollover.
Poor design and a high center of gravity (which is even higher when passenger vans are put to their intended use) unnecessarily compromises passenger safety. When carrying more than 15 people, passenger vans have a 70% probability of rolling over. This likelihood combined with even the most minor of human error has proven to be dangerous and even deadly. What may be deemed reasonable cornering speeds for an average car can prove deadly in a passenger van.
Despite the proven dangers, little change has been made to the overall design of these vans in the last 30 years. The Missouri and U.S. government, as well as auto manufacturers, have issued warnings of these dangers, even placing restrictions on who can lawfully drive and ride in passenger vans. However, serious and deadly passenger van accidents continue to occur every year.
First and foremost, van drivers should have the proper license to operate it. In Missouri, a driver for hire must have a commercial drivers license (CDL) in order to transport people. Second, the speed limit should never be exceeded. Third, drivers should slow the vehicle when rounding any turn when loaded with passengers. Fourth, the tires should be checked to ensure correct pressurization and normal wear patterns. Fifth, all passengers should wear their seat belts. Some of the older vans were not equipped with seat belts. If you find yourself in one of those early vans, get out. Do not ride in it. Sixth, all cargo should be placed forward of the rear axle. Last, never exceed the limit for the number of people riding as passengers.
If you are involved in a passenger van crash, it is important you contact an experienced passenger van lawyer. The Bradley Law Firm has decades of experience handling injury and wrongful death claims arising from van accidents.
Our passenger van accident lawyers do not charge any attorneys’ fee unless we are successful on your case.
The following website has additional information you may find helpful regarding passenger van accidents:
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Our Personal Injury Attorneys have proudly collected TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars in compensation for clients.
It is our mission to ensure you receive a maximum recovery for all of your damages, to the fullest extent under the law.
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