THE ISSUE: 15-PASSENGER VAN SAFETY
FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS THE USE OF 15-PASSENGER VANS FOR SCHOOL RELATED TRANSPORT OF HIGH SCHOOL AGE AND YOUNGER CHILDREN.
A DRIVER TRANSPORTING 16 PEOPLE FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES MUST HAVE A COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE.
• Between 1990 and 2002, there were 1576 fatal crashes involving 15 passenger vans – 1111 occupants of these vehicles were killed.
• Single vehicle crashes represented 42% of the fatal accidents.
• Eight-seven percent of those who died in single vehicle rollovers were not wearing safety belts.
• Passenger ratio of vans involved in roll-overs:
-Less than 5 12.3%
-Over 15 70%
Loading the van moves the center of gravity to the rear, increasing the risk or rollover
and making it more difficult to control in an emergency situation.
Because 15-passenger vans are longer and wider than cars, they
- Require more space and additional reliance on the side-view mirrors for changing lanes.
- Do not respond well to abrupt steering maneuvers.
- Require additional braking time.
REDUCE THE RISK!
- Van should be driven ONLY by experienced operators.
- Seat belts on everyone – all the time!
- No more than 15 people, including the driver.
- When the van is not full, passengers should sit in seats in front of rear axle.
- Maintain proper tire inflation and tread. Check tire pressure and tread wear before traveling.
- Do not drive when fatigued.
- Do not speed.
- Avoid conditions that lead to loss of control.
- Be especially cautious on curved roads and rural roads.
- If wheels drop off the roadway or pavement, gradually reduce speed and steer back on roadway when it is safe to do so.
- Do not load luggage on roof – this greatly increases the rollover risk.