It's the season, the season for travel! With Spring Break and the summer travel season, there are going to be plenty of church groups, college students, families, vacationers and more that will be packing in to a 15-passenger bus to get to their vacation destination.
Because of the increase in this mode of travel, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is sending out a big warning, a warning for passengers and drivers to keep safety a top priority. Unfortunately, these 15-passenger vans come with extremely high risks for accidents in Asheville and elsewhere.
The thing about these 15-passenger vans is that they're extremely sensitive to loading. Travelers are urged to never overload these vehicles. It's important to know how much the van can hold and to not exceed that limit. When a van is overloaded, the risks for rollover accidents skyrocket. Overloading also makes them extremely difficult to handle.
Our North Carolina injury attorneys understand that these vans can feel like driving a tractor-trailer, especially when drivers aren't familiar with them.
Importantly, travelers are urged to make sure that the tires are properly inflated. The front and rear tires can require different amounts of tire pressure unlike the tires on our everyday vehicles. Travelers are urged to check out the vehicle's manual to see just how much air is supposed to be in each tire.
Drivers are also warned to stay away from old, worn tires. You've got to remember that tires degrade over time. A good rule of thumb is to never use a tire that's more than 10-years-old. Typically, the lifespan of a van's tires can be found in the vehicle's manual, but it's always best to check them out for yourself before heading out.
Additional Safety Tips for 15-Passenger Vans, from the NHTSA:
-Be aware of the maximum capacity of the van you're using for your travel. Never overload.
-Make sure that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up during every ride, regardless of how short or long the trip may be.
-If you are the owner of one of these vehicles, make sure that it's properly and regularly maintained. Keep up with maintenance to help avoid accidents.
-Owners and rental companies should always make sure that the suspension and the steering components are inspected regularly. The owner's manual should recommend when these items should be repaired and/or fixed.
-Make sure that the van is equipped with the right sized and load-rated tires.
-Drivers should be experienced and properly licensed.
-Always check the van's tires before venturing out.
The Lee Law Offices, P.A. represents families who have been hurt in a North Carolina accident. Call for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
NTSB Forum to Discuss Distraction-Related Car Accidents in South Carolina and Elsewhere, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, March 27, 2012