Warning for Georgia Owners of 15-Passenger Vans

On Wednesday, December 22, 2010, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety in Atlanta issued a safety warning to Georgia owners of 15-passenger vans. This warning by the State of Georgia was intended to alert operators of these vans of an increased danger to rollovers and deadly Georgia accidents.

Recent van crashes in Georgia have killed several people, and the announcement came right before the holiday travel time in order to warn Georgians about the hazards of van crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that 15-passenger vans are more likely to roll over and be involved in single-vehicle accidents than any other type of car. The NHTSA also revealed that there are approximately 550,000 of these vans on U.S. roads that could be affected.

Van rollovers often occur because the driver has lost control or tried to overcorrect. Because 15-passenger vans do not have updated safety features that many other vehicles have, they are at higher risk. The NHTSA has released the following safety recommendations for drivers of 15-passenger vans:

  • Cargo - Do not place cargo on the roof. Rather, place the cargo forward of the rear axle. Also, do not tow anything behind these types of vans.

  • Passenger Load - The passenger load needs to be kept light, as there is a direct correlation between the number of passengers and an increased rollover rate.

  • Tire Pressure - Check your tire pressure often, as most 15-passenger vans have improperly inflated tires.

  • Spare Tire - Do not use your spare tire when replacing worn and old tires, as your spare tire may be old and weak.

  • Seat Belts - Everyone in the van should be buckled in and wearing seatbelts at all times.

  • Speed - Drivers of 15-passenger vans should not exceed the posted speed limits.

  • Qualified Driver - Only a driver qualified to drive a 15-passenger van should be behind the wheel, preferably someone who has a commercial driver's license.

We urge Georgia drivers to buckle up and be careful on the roads this holiday season in order to avoid Atlanta car crashes.