Despite their danger, 15-passenger vans remain in high demand in the United States. These vans take children to daycare, senior citizens to outings, athletic teams to games, employees to work, teenagers to youth programs, voters to the polls, people to and from church, and tourists to duck boats or river tours.
15-Passenger Vans Are Deadly
There is one glaring problem with large, 15-passenger vans—they can be deadly. In some states, drivers of 15-passenger vans are not even required to obtain specialized training or a special license to operate a 15-passenger van. This lack of training, poor upkeep, and the propensity of 15-passenger vans to flip is what makes them so deadly.
15-Passenger Van Claims the Lives of Three Teenagers
The Courier Journal reports that, on August 13, 2018, tragedy struck when a 15-passenger van owned by Faith Chapel blew a tire and rolled over. Eleven teenagers and two adults were inside Faith Chapel’s van when it flipped. Three teenagers lost their lives, leaving others injured.
The Faith Chapel episode is not an isolated incident. Four people were killed in two crashes in May 2018. In September 2017, a woman was injured in a 15-passenger van when the driver struck another vehicle and flipped. These are not unfamiliar stories. Between 1994 and 2004, there were more than 1,500 fatal crashes involving 15-passenger vans. Among those crashes, more than 600 were single vehicle crashes and more than 500 involved a rollover. More than 600 people have been killed since 2001.
Why Are These Vans So Problematic?
One major problem with 15-passenger vans is that their tires are underinflated, which reduces driving stability and increases tire temperatures and tire deterioration. When adding passengers and cargo to these inherent problems, the 15-passenger van’s center of gravity moves upward, increasing the 15-passenger van’s propensity to flip.
Ways to Keep Safe from Being Injured or Killed in a 15-Passenger Van
Knowing the dangers, you may be wondering what you can do to stay safe. There are a few things you can do, including:
- don’t ride in a 15-passenger van;
- ensure the tires are properly inflated;
- check the condition of the tires;
- wear seat belts;
- only ride with trained 15-passenger van drivers; and
- don’t overload the van.
When 15-passenger vans are not driven by trained professionals or properly maintained, people often get hurt with tragic consequences. Houston personal injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard handle cases involving catastrophic injuries throughout the United States with a focus in Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana. See what our clients have to say about us.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a 15-passenger van, we encourage you to contact us immediately to protect your legal rights.