A family was traveling from St. Petersburg, Florida, heading up to Tennessee for a family reunion on Father’s Day. They were driving large van loaded with six children and five adults on Interstate 10 about two in the morning when they were involved in a fatal van crash in Florida.
According to a story, a pickup truck was trying to exit the on-ramp at I-10 eastbound when it collided with the van. It then hit a concrete barrier and rolled over several times. It’s not known how many people were wearing seat belts, but several occupants were thrown from the van. The pickup driver was not injured. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating whether alcohol might have been a factor.
A 49-year old passenger died at Shands Hospital and a one-year-old is in critical condition. Many of the other children were hospitalized.
According to the federal government, the 15-passenger van is the most dangerous vehicle on the road. Why? Because it is unstable and the roof strength can’t withstand a roll, very often head injuries result- the most catastrophic types of injury.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports when there are 10 or move people inside a van, the extra weight raises the center of gravity and causes it to shift rearward making the van more susceptible to rollovers and poor handling.
58 people lost their lives in accidents in 2006 and 80 percent of those people killed in rollovers in 15-passenger vans were unbelted.
The law allows these dangerous vehicles to stay on the road and NHTSA has issued more safety advisories about them than about any other vehicle. Basically here is what we know:
- Drivers of these vans should receive specialty training and should have to pass a written and skills test. NHTSA has encouraged states to make a specific license for drivers of these vans. Since any sudden turn of the wheel can cause them to go off the road, keeping speed low is essential, and keeping tires properly inflated is crucial.
- Everyone needs to wear their seat belts. Period. Without one, someone in a 15-passenger van in a single-vehicle crash is about three times as likely to be killed, according to the federal government.
NHTSA reports that there are approximately 1.4 million 15-passengers vans registered in the U.S., widely used by churches, camps, community organizations, many of which transport children. Our hearts goes out to all of the unsuspecting occupants of these dangerous vehicles. If you can find an alternative cost-effective way to transport individuals, please do so.
Otherwise, if you have been injured in a large passenger van, know that it is essential to secure the van as evidence immediately to have an experienced Florida personal injury law firm inspect it. Product liability cases require inspections and testing to be done by experts in the field. Our first wish is that you find an alternative to a 15-passenger van for your transportation needs; otherwise our door is always open for a consultation so that you can learn more information about your rights. Call Farah and Farah today at 1-800-533-3555.