Passenger Van Accidents
15-passenger vans have recently been found to carry higher risks of accidents than other passenger vehicles. Some estimates indicate that passenger vans are up to three times more likely to roll over, and the risk of serious injury or death is 73% higher than in other vehicles. They drive differently than cars, especially when at capacity. While many of these statistics pertain to 15-passenger vans specifically, any vehicle capable of carrying more than 10 occupants shows an increased risk of an accident.What Makes These Vans So Dangerous?
Most of the concerns surrounding these vans arises from weight distribution issues. The center of gravity is in the rear, which heightens the risk of the driver losing control. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that when making a sudden stop, the van is going to roll over more than half the time. The abnormal weight distribution also increases the chances of tire blowouts and over or under tire inflation. These vans also don’t have adequate functions to prevent rollovers. Alarmingly, no certification is needed to operate a passenger van, so an inexperienced driver may be behind the wheel. As you can see, these vans are extremely susceptible to getting into accidents. There does not even have to be a collision to prompt a catastrophic rollover.The NHTSA Has Put Forth These Recommendations:
- Drivers insist that all occupants wear seat belts at all times. Those not wearing seatbelts are four times more likely to be killed in a crash than a restrained passenger.
- Drivers drive no more than eight hours per day.
- Drivers are trained and experienced. Those with commercial licenses are ideal.
- Tires are checked weekly using manufacturer’s recommended pressure levels.
- No loads are places on roof of vehicle. This can affect the weight distribution and alter the way the vehicle drives.
- Always obey speed limit. These vans often have longer braking times than typical cars.
According to the NHTSA, driver assistance technologies are said to eliminate 94% of fatal crashes resulting from human error. Vans should utilize this technology.Who is Liable?
When you are injured in an accident in a passenger van, your insurance does not cover you. Instead you must determine what party is at fault and make a claim for compensation with that party’s insurance company. In most cases, a personal injury suit will not be necessary. After we determine who is at fault, we can file a claim for compensation with their insurance company. While an insurance company may try and deny the claim, it will at least open the door for settlement negotiations. If negotiations do not present any fair settlements, we will not hesitate to take your case to court. You are entitled to past and future medical expenses, lost wages, future lost income, pain and suffering, and any other costs resulting from the accident.
At the law firm of Altman & Altman, we pride ourselves on accessibility. The telephones at the law office of Altman & Altman are answered 7 days a week – 24 hours a day. In addition, all emails to the firm are answered within 4 hours, often sooner.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a passenger van accident, please contact the law firm of Altman & Altman to speak directly with one of our talented van accident attorneys. All initial consultations are free of charge. You should not suffer at the hands of an experienced driver or negligently operating van company. If it is the unfortunate reality that you have, we will do everything we can to mitigate the fallout.