15-Passenger Van Accidents
Between 1994 and 2004, there were more than 1500 fatal 15-passenger van accidents. This information was provided by a report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
15-passenger vans are used by organizations, schools, colleges, universities, religious groups, companies and families where they need to carry a large group of people to a certain location becomes necessary. These vehicles are useful, but are known to be dangerous because of their design defects. In fact, a 60-Minutes segment where CBS’s Scott Pelley reported that these vehicles, often used by schools, day care centers, scout troops, churches, hotels, airport shuttle companies and many others are the most dangerous vehicles on the roads today with most rollover accidents.
Today, some insurance companies refuse to insure these vehicles because of the high number of rollover incidents. Most car manufacturers produce a version of this passenger van. There may be as many as 500,000 of these vehicles on American roads and highways today. Ford sells the most of these 15-passenger vans.
The vans are designed to hold as many passengers as possible. The back end of the vehicle has been lengthened to accommodate more persons. Because of the vehicle’s center of gravity and its wheel base, when one of these vans is fully loaded, there is a three times more likelihood that it may roll over in an emergency stop. The rear four seats of the lengthened van are not over a wheel axle. In addition, the vans are top heavy making them more prone to rollovers. At least one engineer has said that high center of gravity makes the vehicle extremely dangerous and in his opinion should not be used or even be on the road.
If you or someone you know has been injured of suffered serious injury in an accident involving a 15-passenger van or a shuttle bus, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, hospital bills, pain and suffering, future medical bills, lost time from your job and loss of normal life.
In 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) changed its safety rules regarding commercial motor vehicles. The rule applies to the transportation of passengers in vans and buses with 9-15 passengers. The commercial motor vehicles, 15-passenger vans, must meet safety qualifications, they must maintain and keep records to document that they have complied and they have to follow the safety measures and rules. Seatbelts must be installed on 15-passenger vans.
In addition to other safety hazards, many of the 15-passenger van vehicles have been known to rollover either by the fact that they are known to be top heavy or poorly designed. In fact, 81% of the crashes related to 15-passenger vans occur in a single-vehicle rollover accident. Other safety issues with the 15-passenger van are underinflated tires that can cause higher tire temperatures, faster tire deterioration and diminished driving stability. With additional passengers and cargo in these vans, the center of gravity moves upward and rearward, increasing the vehicle’s tendency to rollover and also increasing the potential for the driver to lose control in the emergency maneuver. Since 1990 at least 424 persons have died in 15-passenger van rollovers. Hundreds of others have been seriously and permanently injured.
Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has been handling fatality cases in 15-passenger van accident cases for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and surrounding areas, including most of the United States. A 15-passenger van accident resulting in multiple fatalities was handled successfully by our office and was settled before trial.
Kreisman Law Offices has prevailed in trials and settlements in Chicago, Illinois and surrounding areas and has successfully resolved cases for severely injured clients over these many years.
With our years of experience in trying and settling 15-passenger van accident cases, commercial bus accident cases, car and semi-trailer truck accidents, Kreisman Law Offices provides the best possible services to our clients and have achieved unsurpassed results. Our service is unmatched. Please call us 24 hours a day at 312.346.0045 or toll free 800.583.8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online. There is no charge for a consultation that will include an evaluation of your case, assessment of your damages such as lost income, lost wages, medical and hospital bills, past and future pain and suffering, loss of normal life and wrongful death.