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We often hear about rollover accidents involving huge tractor trailers or certain SUVs. However, you may not realize that passenger vans pose similar risks. David Fuchs at David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. understands that the way in which a passenger van is handled differs significantly from how smaller automobiles are handled. Why? Passenger vans, particularly those that can hold 15 passengers or more, are typically much longer, wider and higher than the average motor vehicle.
Accordingly, those who operate passenger vans need to have a greater awareness of the vehicle, as well as their surroundings. Van operators typically rely on their side mirrors heavily and they often need more space to maneuver and longer distances to brake effectively. Routine maintenance on such vans is also extremely important because passenger vans that are not appropriately maintained or operated run a considerable risk of collision and/or rollover.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has warned for years of the dangers surrounding passenger vans. The death toll continues to rise, as hundreds of individuals have lost their lives in van rollover accidents. In fact, statistics show that approximately 6 out of every 10 passengers involved in such accidents die as a result of the crash.
But why are passenger vans so dangerous? Unfortunately, David Fuchs and his team have seen the results of accidents that ultimately stemmed from defective vehicle design. The main cause of rollover accidents relates to a high center of gravity and passenger vans have a very high center of gravity. What’s more, that center of gravity shifts once people and cargo gets added to the van. That being the case, the van may possibly fishtail or turn over in the event of an accident. That, in combination with potential driver negligence, can result in a dangerous scenario for all involved.
At David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A., we believe that an ounce of prevention goes a long way when it comes to keeping drivers and passengers safe on area roadways. Keeping an accident from occurring in the first place is key to ensuring that goal is met. So, how can such accidents be prevented?
First, it is crucial that the weight of the vehicle never exceed its gross vehicle weight rating. All too often, business owners will be more focused on how much cargo and how many people they can fit into a van instead of paying attention to the ratings. Second, van operators and owners should always perform a preliminary check of the vehicle prior to taking it on the road. This means making sure that all the van’s tires are properly inflated because improper tire pressure often plays a significant role in many rollover accidents.
Lastly, passenger van owners should ensure that their drivers are well trained and highly experienced in operating vehicles of this size. Operating a passenger van is far different than operating a standard car.
Van accidents, just like many other accidents, can be quite serious and the damages incurred can be substantial. That is why it is important for accident victims to seek legal counsel from a knowledgeable accident lawyer who will work hard to ensure they receive the just compensation to which they may be entitled. Call our office today to discuss your options and rights under the law.