I was reading the recent news report of the Gainesville, GA church group that was on a missions trip in Kentucky last month when the church van was involved in a collision resulting in severe injuries to the passengers. These types of crashes involving large passenger vans of church groups and students are more common than you would think.
It is very common to see 15 passenger vans such as the Ford F-350 and others traveling on the nation’s highways and interstates carrying our most precious cargo – children. These vehicles most commonly transport baseball (or other sports) teams, church groups, day care students, boy/girl scouts and other similar groups. In fact, these types of vans are used by many private schools as the primary mode of transporting students on field trips or to extra-curricular events as they are much less expensive than actual school busses.
And little is thought about it by the parents or the adults in charge.
These vehicles do little to ensure the safety of its occupants. In fact they are among the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Specifically, the roll-over rate is extremely high in these types of vehicles. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) calculates that the vans overturn more than half the time they are involved in single-vehicle crashes. Additionally, more than half of the occupants of these vehicles are killed or receive incapacitating injuries.
The majority of the single-vehicle crashes involve tire safety issues. Additionally these types of vans are more likely to roll over with more passengers inside. This is largely due to the way the seats are positioned in the vehicle causing a high center of gravity.
The technology exists for other designs and features that would make these vehicles safer for passengers. Yet, the makers of these vehicles did not think these safety features were necessary – especially in the earlier models of these vehicles.
Please think long and hard before you allow your child to ride in one of these 15 passenger vans. Your child would be much safer if you considered alternative options.
More information on the dangers of these vehicles can be found at: http://www.safercar.gov/, http://www.nhtsa.gov/, http://www.ntsb.gov/, http://www.iihs.org/research/qanda/fifteen_passenger.html and many other sites.
If you or a loved one was seriously hurt as a result of a vehicular roll-over incident or any other major motor vehicle collision, please contact us so that we can discuss your rights. Consultations are free.