Passenger Van Accidents
Passenger Van Accidents in SW Florida
When a car is too small, and a bus is too big, a passenger van may be just right. Passenger vans are large vehicles usually designed to transport 12-15 people. Organizations often use passenger vans because they are convenient for transporting small groups and are less cumbersome to drive than larger transport vehicles, especially for smaller, local business and community groups. There are over half a million 15 passenger vans registered in the United States today.1 However ubiquitous they are, it is important to understand the heightened risks unique to passenger vans.
The most prevalent risk is rollover during an accident. While the rollover rate for passenger vans in a single vehicle crash when filled to less than half capacity is as low as 20%, this number jumps to 44% when a passenger van is loaded to over half capacity. This ratio is the highest of any vehicle type.2 Passenger vans have a higher center of gravity, like SUVs, so drivers must take extra caution, especially on winding roads.
Safety Procedures for Passenger Vans
If you have been injured in an accident as an occupant of a passenger van, it is important to determine if the driver and/or owner of the vehicle operated and maintained the van to the utmost safety standards. All drivers of passenger vans should follow these guidelines to ensure occupant safety:
- Tire pressure and tread should be checked before every use. Tires should not be loaded higher than the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Occupant load should never exceed 15, or fewer in the case of smaller vans. Overloading a van greatly increases your risk of rollover in an accident.
- Drivers should not carry loads on top of the van.
- Cautious driving is imperative to safety, especially if the van is over half capacity. Due to the high center of gravity in passenger vans, turns should be taken at a slow speed.
Who to Call if injured in a commercial van accident in Southwest Florida
If you have sustained an injury in a passenger van accident, especially if you believe the driver or the owner’s negligibility resulted in that accident, it is important to seek legal counsel to get the justice you deserve. SWFL attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice, and Purtz have over 50 years of legal experience in dealing with personal injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.