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The passenger van accident attorneys at the The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, PC represent seriously injured victims of van and van rollover accidents in Lake and McHenry Counties.
Because passenger vans are relatively inexpensive compared to school buses, they have become popular for transporting church groups, school children, the elderly, sports teams and other groups. They can transport a large amount of people and their accompanying cargo. All three manufacturers of 15-seat vans market their vehicles to these types of users. But these vans are prone to rollovers when they are involved in a crash. Many people who drive or are passengers in these vans are unaware of the risks of rollover accidents and subsequent injuries involved. These types of vehicles have a higher likelihood than any other vehicle to be involved in dangerous rollover accidents, many of which are single vehicle accidents. This is due to the design of the large vehicle, which when it is fully loaded with passengers and cargo becomes unstable and may fishtail and rollover.
According to a CBS special report, the 15 passenger van is one of the most dangerous vehicles on the road.
‘These vans looks like any other van, except they have been lengthened to hold more riders. The problem is, when the van is fully loaded, it is three times more likely to roll over in an emergency. All the American carmakers build a version of the van. Ford sells the most.
Step off a plane and the airport hotel is likely to pick you up in a 15-passenger van. Back home at the day care center, the kids are climbing aboard. Often it’s the shuttle for the park & ride, the lift to the university. The YMCA drives them, the Post Office, too. And when Disabled American Veterans move en masse to lobby Congress, it’s the 15-passenger van that carries them.
They seem to be everywhere. There are about 500,000 of them on the road. Millions of Americans who ride in them don’t give them a thought until the unique character of the van is suddenly, tragically revealed.’
Why are the 15 passenger vans so dangerous?
Fifteen-passenger vans are popular small vehicles for many organizations that need to transport small groups over long distances — groups like school sports teams, church youth groups, senior center groups or summer campers. But even though thousands of organizations entrust these vans with their members’ safety each year, we now know that the vans don’t deserve our trust.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 15-passenger vans are more likely to be involved in a single-vehicle rollover accident than any other type of vehicle. A study by the NHTSA shows that 15-passenger vans are more than twice as likely to roll over when filled to above half their capacity than when they’re at or under half of their capacity. That is, when used for their intended purpose — carrying large numbers of people — the vans are significantly more likely to be involved in a fatal accident. That’s because their center of gravity shifts upward and backward, a design flaw that makes the van more difficult to control in an emergency.
Causes of Passenger Van Accidents in Northern Illinois
Mistakes made by the driver and organizers of the van’s trip may also be a factor in crashes. According to the NHTSA, the following are mistakes that increase the chances of a rollover accident:
- Overloading the van with more than 15 passengers.
- Inexperienced drivers.
- Drivers without a commercial driver’s license.
- Overall poor handling especially in bad weather.
- Not requiring passengers in partially empty vans to sit in front of the rear axle preventing dangerous changes in the van’s center of gravity.
- Transporting luggage on the roof.
- Not leaving enough space and distance between the van and other vehicles to accommodate the van’s large size and weight.
- High center of gravity.
- Sharp turns can cause the rear tires to slide or fishtail.
- Vans are designed for cargo, not passengers.
- Not requiring passengers to wear seat belts or age appropriate restraints.
If you or a loved one have been in an accident involving a 15-passenger van and are considering legal action, you need an experienced van rollover attorney with proven results.
Passenger Van Rollover Accident Statistics
According to the traffic safety agency, a 15-passenger van that’s fully loaded with 15 or more occupants has a rollover risk six times greater than one with fewer than five occupants. The rollover risk is nearly three times greater with 10 to 15 occupants than with fewer than five.
Government statistics indicate that over 1,200 fatal 15 passenger van accidents have occurred since 1990. In one ten year period 860 people died as the result of 15 passenger van accidents, with over 420 of the deaths occurring from single vehicle rollover accidents (no other vehicle was involved in the accident).
Local Law Firm Represents Passenger Van Accident Victims – Free Consultations
Seriously injured in a passenger van accident in Washington state? Want to know if you have a legal case? Want to know what your van accident case is worth? Want compensation for your injuries? Want justice for your loved ones? Want to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to someone else?
Get the legal aid that you need. Call attorney Bob Edens at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, PC. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.
Call 847 -395-2200 now for a FREE legal consultation regarding your passenger van accident injury case.
Providing Legal Aid to Van Accident Victims in Round Lake, Wauconda, Lake Villa, Lindenhurst and Throughout the Northern Part of the State of Illinois.
Bob can help anyone in the Chicago area and Northern Illinois, including the following communities: Antioch, Fox Lake, Gurnee, Grayslake, Lake Villa, Ingleside, Lindenhurst, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Heights, Round Lake Park, Waukegan, Zion, Highland Park, Libertyville, Mundelein, Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, McHenry, Woodstock, and North Chicago.
Having substantial experience with passenger van accident claims and often trying these kinds of cases in court, the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens has the skill and expertise necessary to help you.