Passenger vans are used for many smaller outings by schools, churches and youth organizations to transport small groups back and forth to their destination. While more cost effective than either using several smaller passenger vehicles or investing in a larger commercial vehicle, they do have safety concerns. The 15-passenger vans, in particular, have been under scrutiny and are considered by some to be one of the more dangerous vehicles on the road today.
If you were injured in a Chicago passenger van accident, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys have successfully resolved Illinois motor vehicle accidents involving passenger vans on behalf of injured passengers and other motorists. Frequently, these incidents involve corporate ownership or control which may not be apparent until a lawsuit has been filed. Consequently, it is essential for an injured person to speak to an Illinois passenger van attorney as soon as feasible after a collision to determine the best way to proceed with a case.
High Rollover Propensity Compared With Other Vehicles
15-passenger vans are heavy vehicles with a high center of gravity that were designed originally to transport goods, not people. This design, coupled with poor understanding by their drivers on how to handle these larger vehicles and improper loading can make them dangerous in a rollover situation. Compared to passenger vehicles such as cars and smaller vans, they are more likely to roll over and cause injuries to those being transported inside.
- 52% of 15-person passenger van fatality accidents are rollovers. Compare this to a 33% rollover rate in other passenger vehicles.
- When the van is full, there is an even higher chance of rollover. 85% of single-vehicle rollovers involving a 15-passenger van have 10-15 passengers onboard.
- 15-passenger vans have a higher chance of rollover without any other vehicle involvement. 81% of fatality rollover accidents involving these vehicles are single vehicle accidents.
General Safety Concerns Regarding Van Accidents
There are other factors beyond the physical safety concerns of the 15-passenger vans that can contribute to accidents (see here). Vans are typically used in-group settings, such as churches, schools, and nursing homes for transport. Often, the vans are being driven and loaded by non-professional drivers that are unfamiliar with driving and maintaining these larger types of vehicles. This can lead to several safety issues that can compile on top of their already less-than-stellar safety rating:
- Loading the van. Weight should be distributed front to back. Uneven loads can contribute to balance and gravity issues.
- Handling a large van. Many drivers of these vans are inexperienced at driving a large vehicle. Large, top-heavy vans handle much different than other smaller passenger vehicles.
- Maintenance. Tire pressure is vital for larger vehicles. Proper maintenance needs to be used to ensure both the rear and front tires are at the correct pressure.
- No endorsement. No special license or requirement needed to drive these vehicles. Many times someone who is untrained in how to handle a larger vehicle is allowed to get behind the wheel.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured when aboard a passenger van, you may need legal assistance fighting your claim– particularly when there is a commercial insurance carrier involved. The Illinois van accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understand the sensitive nature of some of these accidents and assist in getting you the financial compensation you need and deserve. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and advise you on how what avenues you can pursue your claim. If you cannot make it to our offices, we can have an attorney or investigator visit with you at your home or hospital.