15-passenger vans, often used by churches, daycare centers, and large families have a higher rate of rollover crashes. Rollover crashes have a high fatality rate. If your travel plans include a group trip in a 15-passenger van here are some important safety tips that you should be aware of to minimize the potential risks posed by these vehciles.
• Due to their large size, these vans are particularly susceptible to overloading with people, baggage, and equipment. Overloading these top- heavy vehicles makes them even more prone to rolling-over and more unstable in any handling situations. In addition, when five or more people are riding in these vans, the likelihood of rollover increases. Do not overload the vehicle with weight or people – check the van’s maximum weight load and seat capacity.
• Tire pressure on 15-passenger vans can vary from the back to the front tires. It is important to check tire pressure on each tire and make sure they are the recommended size for the vehicle.
• These large vans are typically longer, higher, and wider making them handle differently from smaller vehicles and require more breaking distance. Most rollover crashes in these vans are a result of speeding and sudden steering maneuvers. Obey the speed limit – do not speed. Give yourself plenty of space to stop in an emergency – do not tailgate.
• The large size and passenger capacity of these vans easily allows for a ‘party-like’ atmosphere inside. Due to their size and unstable handling, it is even more important that road trips in these vehicles are not considered party busses. Make sure everyone is buckled up and children are in an appropriate child restraint system that is properly installed. Avoid driving distractions – turn the cell phone off.
• With the potential risk of fatal accidents inherent in a vehicle of this nature, it is extremely important that the driver be well trained, experienced, rested, and sober. Do not drink and drive. Do not drive fatigued. Make sure that the driver is experienced.
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