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.


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