For many years, 15-passenger vans have been the travel vehicle of choice for large groups of people and their cargo. These large motor vehicles are often used for transporting church groups, school groups, and business groups. Unfortunately, 15-passenger vans also boast an unsafe track record for accidents caused by serious design flaws.
The lawyers at the Philadelphia law firm of Reiff & Bily have been researching and handling thousands of automobile and 15-passenger van accident cases since 1979.
Fifteen passenger vans can be very dangerous to ride in when they are fully loaded. Body design flaws with unreasonable and unrealistic capacity limitations are just some of the major problems associated with these kinds of vans. Design defects, such as cargo vans that are heavy on top while their rears go as far back as four feet beyond the back wheels, can increase the possibility of rollovers and/or fishtailing.
In 2005, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penn DOT) reported that light trucks, SUVs, and Van rollovers accounted for 36.8% of rollover deaths in over 4,500 total rollovers. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) calculates that the vans overturn more than half the time they are involved in single-vehicle crashes, compared to 33 percent of the time for other vehicles. Surprisingly, 81 percent of all fatalities in 15-passenger van crashes occur in single-vehicle crash rollovers. When a 15-passenger van is carrying 15 people and is overloaded with too much cargo, it has a 70% greater chance of being involved in a rollover accident. Here are more 15 passenger van facts:
- Since 1990, there have been over 400 reported fatalities involving single-vehicle, 15 passenger van rollovers.
- Approximately 500,000 15-passenger vans are currently in use in the United States.
- The US government has banned the use of 15-passenger vans for transporting school age children.
- The more passengers in the van, the greater the chance rollovers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued warnings and made recommendations about passenger van safety. SafetyForum also has information on 15-passenger vans.
To help reduce the risk of injury, always wear your safety belt. If you are ever in an accident, make sure everyone is ok and exchange information. Call 9-1-1 or the police to report the accident and never leave the scene of the accident. Double check your insurance coverage and report the accident to the insurance company. There are three important factors to motor vehicle accidents: (1) liability; (2) establishing damages; and (3) determining where to collect the damages. Personal injury lawyer Jeffrey Reiff and the experienced Philadelphia injury lawyers at Reiff & Bily will examine the facts, evaluate your claim, determine which parties and insurance companies are responsible, and organize all of the details of preparing and presenting your automobile accident case.
The dedicated injury lawyers at Reiff & Bily work on a contingent fee basis, charging a small percentage of the recovery. They will not get paid one cent unless there is a successful recovery. They have had handled thousands of motor vehicle accidents and have successfully recovered in excess of $150 million dollars from their opponents for physical injuries and emotional damages.
If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a 15-passenger van accident anywhere in Pennsylvania, call Reiff & Bily at (800) 421-9595 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with a Philadelphia injury lawyer.