The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the greatest number of deadly accidents involving 15-passenger vans take place from June through August each year. The NHTSA issued its latest report this month.
According to the NHTSA, 31% of deadly 15-passenger van rollovers happen during this time because the summer holidays are a busy time for travel.
Data shows that the more people and cargo there are in a 15-passenger van, the greater the chances of a rollover accident. 50% of 15-passenger van fatalities in 2006 happened when the vans were loaded to full capacity. Other common causes of 15-passenger van fatalities include tire problems, driver inexperience, and failure to use a seat belt.
On a positive note, the number of 15-passenger van deaths declined between 1997 and 2006-the period of time that the new NHTSA study encapsulates. There were over 100 15-passenger van-related deaths in 1997 and less than 60 in 2006.
15-passenger vans continue to be one of the motor vehicles most likely to be involved in a rollover accident. A major reason for this is that the vans are designed in a way that the rear of the van, when fully loaded with passengers and cargo, tends to become weighted down. These vans are also designed with what is called a high gravity center that gets heavier the more people are in the vehicle. 15-passenger van accidents can lead to many injury victims-especially in rollover accidents.
Nation’s Top Vehicle Safety Official Urges 15-Passenger Van Users to Drive with Caution this Summer, NHTSA, May 12, 2008
Fatalities to Occupants of 15-Passenger Vans, 1997-2006, NHTSA (PDF)
Related Web Resource:
15-Passenger Van Safety Hazard Information
NHTSA Action Plan for 15-Passenger Van Safety
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