All motorists need to pay attention to tire safety. However, in the case of 15- passenger vans, the need to take precautions to prevent tire failures and blowouts is even more severe. That’s because these vans are very likely to be involved in a potentially fatal rollover during a tire blowout.
The design of the 15-passenger van makes it much more susceptible to a rollover. These vehicles have a higher center of gravity that places them at a higher risk of flipping over during an accident. According to some statistics, 15-passenger vans with between 10 and 15 occupants on board are approximately 3 times more likely to be in a rollover accident than vans that have a maximum of five occupants. The design which is longer and taller places these vehicles at a high risk of a rollover.
When you take a van that already has these design deficiencies, and add bad tires to the mix, the consequences can be disastrous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is specifically calling on owners of these vans to pay special attention to tire safety this summer. These vans are typically used very heavily during summer by church groups, sporting clubs, youth groups, summer camp operators, and other organizations for trips.
According to the NHTSA, between 2004 and 2013, there were 653 fatalities in 15-passenger van accidents. That works-out to an average of 65 deaths per year. More than 60 percent of those deaths occurred in van accidents that ended in a rollover.
Ensure that your van tires are adequately inflated and properly sized, and that you are not loading passengers beyond the tires’ load capacity. If you are driving a 15-passenger van, stay focused on the road, don’t drink and drive, and make sure that everybody in your van is bucked up. Make sure that the suspension and steering components are inspected regularly.