It’s that time of the year when more people travel in large groups on their way to picnics, and other spring activities. Not surprisingly, the use of 15-passenger vans is widespread during spring season. Over the next few weeks, Los Angeles car accident lawyers expect families and large groups of friends to pile into these passenger vans on their way to a good time. Unfortunately, these are some of the most dangerous automobiles on the road, as federal agencies have warned numerous times.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is once again warning people about the specific accident hazards involved 15 -passenger vans.
These vans have a much high center of gravity, and are much less stable than other types of large vehicles. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that the higher the number of people traveling in a 15-passenger van, the higher the risk of a rollover. On an average, a van that carries 10 people can have a rollover risk that is nearly 3 times higher than the rollover risk of a van carrying just 5 people.
While there has been tremendous progress made in reducing the number of car accident fatalities involving all the types of vehicles, including SUVs and pickup trucks, which were earlier known for their fatal rollover rates, there has been very little progress made in reducing the number of fatalities in accidents involving 15-passenger vans. In fact, in 2007, the number of people killed in accidents involving these vehicles actually increased by 20% over the previous year. When it came to van rollover fatalities, the number actually increased by 73% in 2007.
If a passenger van comes equipped with electronic stability control, there may be a reduced risk of a rollover accident. However, many vans being used today are the earlier models, which do not come with this technology.