Passenger Van Accident

Passenger vans that seat 15 people or more are useful for transporting large groups of people. Many North Carolina families, schools, businesses, and churches routinely use large passenger vans to transport groups. The utility and comfort that passenger vans offer make them appealing vehicles for individuals and groups alike. Unfortunately, passenger vans pose some safety risks. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a 15-passenger van collision, you may be entitled to compensation.

If you have suffered an injury in a passenger van accident, Arnold & Smith, PLLC can help. Our skilled Charlotte personal injury attorneys will listen to the facts of your case and discuss the possibility of taking legal action. We understand how difficult recovering from your injuries can be, and that is why we fight hard to procure the maximum amount of compensation possible for our clients. Due to the large size of passenger vans, collisions involving them can result in some of the worst possible injuries or even death. If you have suffered an injury in a passenger van accident, you need the highly skilled legal representation that our law firm offers.

15-Passenger Vans are Particularly Dangerous

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that between 2007 and 2016, 509 people died as a result of 15-passenger van accidents. Of those who died, 41% of them faced ejection from the passenger van. The NHTSA also found that 11% of 15-passenger van fatalities happened due to tire failure. Finally, 70% of those who died in 15-passenger van accidents were not wearing a seatbelt. In some instances, passengers are less likely to wear a seatbelt when in a large vehicle. Perhaps they consider a 15-passenger van to be more like a school bus in which seatbelts are typically not worn or required.

Drivers should not drive a 15-passenger van like they would drive a car or even a minivan. Drivers of 15-passenger vans need to use care and remember the unique risks that 15-passenger vans come with, such as:

  • Every rider in a 15-passenger van should wear a seatbelt. Owners and drivers of 15-passenger vans should replace any broken buckles that are not working. If a seatbelt is missing, the driver should replace the defective seatbelt or make sure nobody sits in the corresponding seat. If a passenger or the driver is expelled from the van in a collision, he or she is around four times more likely to be killed than a van passenger who is using a seatbelt.

  • The driver of a 15-passenger van should have experience with these unique vehicles. Ideally, churches or businesses who allow people to drive their vans should require drivers to have a commercial driver's license. 15-passenger vans drive differently than regular cars, especially when they are full of people.

  • Drivers of 15-passenger vans should use caution when breaking as these vans take longer than average cars to stop. Abrupt braking or turning movements can cause the van to tip over when fully loaded with people.

  • 11% of 15-passenger van accidents happen because of tire failure. The driver should inspect the tire pressure of the van before each use. If a tire does not have enough air or is excessively worn down, the driver and passengers face an increased risk of rollover or a loss of vehicle control. 15-passenger van rollovers can cause death and serious injuries.

  • A driver should never allow more than 15 people in a 15-passenger van. Doing so places all of the passengers or drivers at an increased risk of a rollover accident.

  • Any cargo in the 15-passenger van should go near the rear axle of the van, not in the front of the van or on top of the van.

  • Drivers need to use caution when turning in a 15-passenger van. These vehicles are longer and broader than the typical car. The driver needs more space to make safe lane changes and turns.

Compensation Available to Those Injured in a 15-Passenger Van Collision

The following people may be able to recover compensation for their van injuries:

  • Van passengers
  • Van driver
  • Pedestrian
  • The driver of another car involved in the collision

If another person's negligent or reckless behavior caused your 15-passenger collision, you might be entitled to damages. Damages could compensate you for your lost income, medical expenses, pain, suffering, and other expenses. Contact our office today to set up your free initial consultation, now with convenient locations in Charlotte, Lake Norman and Monroe.

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