15 Passenger Van Rollover Risk Highlighted in NHTSA Safety Tips

April 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Federal traffic safety officials have released a consumer advisory, providing a list of safety tips for those operating 15-passenger vans, which have been found to carry a particular risk for rollover accidents that can have tragic consequences.

The use of 15 passenger vans is particularly common among churches, colleges and other organizations, and they are typically not operated by commercial drivers or companies with a focus on the safe transport of people.

The advisory was issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on March 22, urging everyone travelling in 15 Passenger Vans to use a seat belt on every trip.

The NHTSA also warns that the vans are particularly sensitive to loading and warns that they should not be overloaded under any circumstances. When overloaded, the vans are at an increased risk of suffering a rollover accident, and the vans generally handle poorly and are more unstable when overloaded.

Another factor that could increase the risk of a rollover accident with a 15 passenger van is poor tire pressure. The NHTSA urges all vehicle users to insure that the tires for their vans are the appropriate size and properly inflated before every trip. Spare tires should not be used as anything more than emergency replacements, as they are often older, and most tire manufacturers call for vehicle operators not to use tires that are older than 10 years.

Other tips from the NHTSA include:

  • Owners should make sure the vehicles are regularly maintained.
  • ¬†Owners should have suspension and steering inspected according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule and make repairs and replacements as needed.
  • ¬†Drivers should be properly licensed and should have experience operating 15-passenger vans.


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