15-passenger vans are a great way to bustle a large amount of people around, but they can also be extremely dangerous. In fact, between 1994 and 2004 there were 1,512 fatal crashes involving 15-passenger vans. The National Transportation Safety Board reports that during this decade there were 642 single-vehicle crashes with 15-passenger vans. 515 of these crashes were rollovers.
In 2004 alone, 120 occupants in 15-passenger vans died in crashes involving these vehicles. More than half of all 15-passenger single-vehicle accidents involve a rollover. Statistics show that 81% of all crash-related occupant deaths in 15-passenger vans occur in these single-vehicle rollover accidents. The large vans are typically used to transport sports teams, day care children, elderly people, church groups, Commuters, or college students from place to place.
Oftentimes the main issue with these large vans is that their tires are underinflated which leads to higher tire temperatures, faster tire deterioration and eventually diminished driving stability, giving the vans a tendency to rollover. The more passengers and cargo that is in the van, the higher the tendency for a rollover. In fact, a van that has over 10 passengers inside has three times the potential for a rollover accident.
Individuals can make the commute in a 15-passenger can safer by always checking the condition of the tires before pulling out of the drive. If there is uneven wear, cracks, and damage, it is important to replace the tires promptly. Also, it is important that all passengers wear seatbelts and that van drivers receive additional training so that they can best learn how to drive these large vehicles.
These vans should never be overloaded and individuals should never use a roof rack strap or strap cargo to the back of the van.