THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION REINFORCES ITS WARNING WITH RESPECT TO ROLLOVER RISK OF 15-PASSENGER VANS

Since 2001, the NHTSA has warned that 15-passenger vans pose a serious rollover risk. The vans have a high center of gravity and tend to be unstable when operated at high speeds, with more than 10 occupants, or with improperly inflated tires. Federal law prohibits the sale of these vans for school-related transportation involving children of high school age or younger. This prohibition does not apply to college students or other passengers.

A new research report confirms that improper tire maintenance on 15-passenger vans is a significant cause of rollover accidents. Mis-inflated tires change the handling characteristics of the vehicle. Surprisingly, 74% of all 15-passenger vans were found to have significantly mis-inflated tires as opposed to only 39% of passenger cars. Failure to use available seat belts also contributes to the high number of injuries and deaths associated with this type of van. Thus, operators are strongly advised to insist that all passengers buckle-up before taking to the road..

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