Smaller vehicles handle very differently than large, many-passenger vans. Vans are taller, wider and longer than passenger cars.  Passenger vans also have a higher tendency to be involved in rollover crashes in Florida and throughout the nation. Generally, these accidents occurr due to improperly sized tires, tires that are not inflated correctly, and tires that are too old and have degraded over time.

Because of this, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging owners of 15-passenger vans to look at their tires and to replace them or maintain them properly in order to help prevent further passenger van crashes in Florida and throughout the rest of the country. 

Additionally, inexperienced drivers have also caused Florida traffic accidents in passenger vans because they are not familiar with how a van turns or handles. Improper placement of passengers or cargo, which can affect the van’s center of gravity, is another factor that contributes to rollover accidents.

Due to budgetary constraints, certain organizations such as church groups, non-profit organizations, colleges and schools tend to keep 15-passenger vans in service for longer than usual.  Church groups sometimes use their vans to transport kids to church camps or for church outreach programs. Similarly, non-profits use their vans for charity events or other outings. Many schools and colleges use their vans instead of buses to transport smaller groups or sports teams back and forth to their destinations.

Unfortunately, 15-passenger vans do not provide the same level of safety that school busses provide to children. For this reason, it is against the law for schools to purchase new passenger vans in which to transport children.

For those who are still operating 15-passenger vans, NHTSA reminds drivers of “DRIVERS”:

D – Drivers should be experienced
R – Rest for drivers is critical before taking a trip
I – Inspect the van, especially the tires, before every trip
V – The vehicle should never weigh more than the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
E – Ensure all passengers are buckled up
R – Replace old tires
S – Safety is first

If you or your child has been injured in a Florida auto accident due to no fault of your own, you may have rights to a financial recovery against the school, group or owner of the van. Protect your interests and talk with Sarasota car accident attorney at Mallard Perez today at (888) 409-3805 in a free legal consultation. You can also reach us online through our submission form.
Damian Mallard, Esq.
Connect with me
Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney