When companies or organizations need to carry a large group of people to a location, they will often use 15-passenger vans. Using this mode of transportation eliminates the need to use multiple cars to transport the group. Oftentimes, 15-passenger vans are used by colleges, schools, churches and business organizations.
If you or a family member has suffered an injury in an accident in a 15 passenger van, minibus or shuttle, you may be eligible for financial and legal recourse. Contact an attorney at Gordon & Partners to explore your legal options.
For additional information about legal claims in regards to 15-passenger van accidents, fill out the contact form on this page.
Statistics on 15-Passenger Van Collisions
Safety concerns about 15-passenger vans first began to arise in the 1990s. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), there were more than 1,500 fatal 15-passenger van crashes between 1994 and 2004. In 2001, the NTSB asked for more safety regulations for nine- to 15-passenger vans. In addition, the organization called for design improvements that would prevent fatal 15-passenger van accidents from occurring.
These types of vans are prone to rollover accidents due their high center of gravity. Research has shown that a 15-passenger vehicle that is fully-loaded or almost fully-loaded is three times more likely to rollover than a passenger van that only has five occupants or less.
The fatality rate for van drivers is lower than the death rate for drivers in passenger vehicles; however, the vehicle occupant fatality rate is higher for vans, according to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Common Causes of 15-Passenger Van Accidents
Private organizations and universities will often use nine-to 15-passenger vans. Although the crash rate for 15-passenger vans is lower than passenger cars, the design and handling capabilities of 15-passenger vans cause them to have a high crash risk.
Listed below are some common factors that can result in a van collision:
- Driver negligence
- Loading the van beyond its capacity
- Tire blowouts that were caused by poorly inflated tires
- Lack of safety features
Federal Requirements for 15-Passenger Vans
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) regulations regarding commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) used to transport nine to 15 occupants in interstate commerce was changed in 2010 and now applies regardless of the miles traveled.
These regulations state that CMVs must meet safety qualifications, maintain records to document compliance, follow new safety measures and rules against the use of alcoholic beverages and drugs while operating a 15-passenger van.
The cost of purchasing a new van or retrofitting safety features has kept many organizations from complying with these regulations.
If you or a loved one was injured in a 15-passenger van accident, fill out the Free Case Evaluation form.