Many companies in the entertainment industry use 15 passenger vans. These vehicles are very effective in transporting people and equipment from studios to locations. There is a ongoing risk that I want to make you aware of; 15 passenger vans have one of the highest accident rates among all vehicles in the US.
During a 10 year period 2000-10, there were over 1512 fatal crashes involving 15 passenger vans. Over 600 were single-vehicle accidents, and most of these were rollover accidents. Here are the issues that led to these accidents:
- The vans were not designed to accommodate 15 passengers and related cargo.
- Some vans had added luggage racks which added weight and contributed to accidents.
- The tires on 15 passengers vans seem to wear faster and become under-inflated causing poor steering and control issues.
- Adding passengers and cargo causes the center of gravity to move upward and rearward, increasing the potential for the driver to lose control and increasing a vehicle’s tendency to roll over.
What You Can Do
- Be aware of tire pressure
- Don’t overload the van
- Consider removing the rear seat
- Wear seat belts! Keep all seat belts accessible and require that all passengers use them
- Do not overload 15-passenger vans, and do not use a roof rack or strap on cargo to the
- back of the van. As the weight inside a van increases, so does the van’s propensity to roll over
- Limit capacity to no more than 10 people
- Don’t tow anything behind the van
- For long distance trips, drivers should rotate every two hours