15 passenger vans are among the most dangerous vehicles on the road. The problem, simply stated, is this: When these vans are fully loaded they become almost three times more likely to rollover in an emergency situation, such as a tire blowout.
Here is a trial exhibit computer animation that shows a common scenario –
15 passenger vans are more likely to rollover because their center of gravity is higher than many vehicles, especially when fully loaded. 15 passenger vans were originally designed to haul cargo, not people. They lack some basic safety features that are standard on other vehicles. For example, they often have weaker roofs and side windows – which puts riders at higher risk in a crash.
15 passenger vans are so dangerous that federal law prohibits their use for school related transport of students. The federal ban applies to 12 passenger vans also.
Federal regulators and auto safety experts have known for years that these vans are rolling deathtraps, yet they continue to be manufactured. These vehicles are inherently unstable by design, yet they continue to be produced.
Children are most at risk in a rollover of a 15 passenger van because these vehicles are commonly used by day care centers, churches, schools, and colleges. Each of the Big 3 auto makers manufacture a version of the 15 passenger van and it has been estimated there are over 500,000 on the roads today.
If your child has been injured or killed while riding in a 15 passenger van, you need to evaluate your legal options. You may have a product liability claim against one of the auto manufacturers. You may have a claim against the organization that choose to put this dangerous vehicle into service transporting children.