Passenger vans are a popular choice for youth groups, churches, clubs, summer camps and other community organizations. They’re larger than a car or truck and can transport 12-15 passengers easily, under safe conditions. Unfortunately, not everybody adheres to safe driving and maintenance procedures when driving or riding in passenger vans. Although it’s very little talked about, in certain conditions, these vans can be deadly. If you or somebody you love have been injured in a passenger van accident, you need to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible about your case.
The Dangers of 15-Passenger Vans
First and foremost, passenger vans have a higher center of gravity than most vehicles on the road. This means, in the event of some type of roadway hazard or emergency, they’re more likely to rollover or flip. Although they may feel large and safe on the inside, they can easily roll over in the event of a blowout or other problem. They also tend to give riders and drivers a false sense of security. They’re not buses. You do have to buckle up in passenger vans. The number one way to protect yourself in the event of an accident is to always buckle your seatbelt.
Not only is the risk for rollover high, the use and nature of these vehicles also puts them at a higher risk of injury-causing and deadly rollover accidents. Since these aren’t typically ‘daily drivers’ or family cars, they’re often used intermittently. Since these vans aren’t used every day, they have a tendency to sit for extended periods of time. Additionally, drivers who may or may not have the qualifications, experience or skill to get behind the wheel of a passenger van are often tasked with driving. Finally, like any intermittently used vehicle, they might not be properly maintained. This can also lead to a greater risk of trouble.
Passenger Van Tires
One of the largest contributors to passenger van accidents is improperly maintained tire. Since drivers aren’t usually owners of these vehicles, there is less ownership about the maintenance and care of tires. A driver might expect for the van’s owner to have the tires properly serviced, maintained and inflated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is quick to point out that every driver of a passenger van needs to get in the habit of checking tires for proper inflation and wear before every single trip, no matter how short.
Seatbelt Usage in Passenger Vans
Another serious problem associated with passenger van accidents is seatbelt usage. These vehicles give passengers a false sense of security. They feel large and safe, but they’re not. Drivers and passengers need to buckle up for every trip, every time. If you’re in a rollover accident, you don’t want to be thrown around the inside of the van or ejected. Both situations could lead to traumatic or fatal head and spinal injuries.
- Only let qualified, experienced drivers behind the wheel.
- Insist that everybody in the vehicle buckle up.
- Keep up with regularly scheduled maintenance.
- Stay on top of tire maintenance too.
- Check tires for proper pressure and wear before every trip.
Negligence and Passenger Van Accidents
In most cases, accidents involving passenger vans are 100 percent preventable. It might take some additional investigative efforts, so it’s important to have an experienced accident attorney on your side. Owners and drivers of passenger vans owe a duty of care and safety to their passengers. If they’re transporting children to and from summer camp, those kids better be wearing seatbelts. Likewise, the tires should be in excellent condition, and the driver should be well qualified to get behind the wheel. Whether the tires weren’t maintained or the driver wasn’t qualified, if you were injured in a passenger van accident, your first step needs to be speaking with an attorney.
Passenger vans aren’t regular vehicles. They present a unique set of challenges that owners and operators need to be aware of and understand fully. This isn’t the type of vehicle you just hand the keys over to and forget about it. In negligent hands, these vehicles are death traps. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a passenger van accident in the Jackson Metro Area or the surrounding communities, contact the skilled legal team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for an immediate free consultation.
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