July 2010 Safety Tip

Safety for 15 Passenger Van Drivers


15-passenger vans handle differently from other vehicles such as passenger cars. They do not respond as well to abrupt turns and require additional braking distance.

REDUCE YOUR CHANCE OF ROLLOVER

Check your vehicle loading

  • Heavily loaded 15-passenger vans – those with 10 or more passengers or with loads placed on the roofs – have an increased chance of rollover.
  • If possible, have passengers and cargo forward of the rear axle and avoid placing any loads on the roof.

Check your tires

  • Excessively worn or improperly inflated tires can lead to a loss-of-control situation and a rollover.
  • At least once a month, check that the van’s tires are properly inflated and the tread is
    not worn down.

Check your safety belts

  • 80% of people killed in rollover crashes in 15-passenger vans were not wearing their
    safety belts.
  • Require all occupants to use their safety belts or appropriate child restraints.

Check your road conditions

  • Most rollovers occur at high speeds as a result of sudden steering maneuvers.
  • Use caution on interstates and rural roads to avoid running off the road.
  • If your van’s wheels should drop off the roadway, gradually slow down and steer back
    onto the roadway when it is safe to do so.

Check yourself, the driver

  • U.S. DOT recommends 15-passenger vans be driven by trained and experienced drivers.
  • Ensure you are well rested and alert.
  • Maintain a safe speed for weather and road conditions.


For further information go to www.safercar.gov