Fort Myers Van Accident Highlights Rollover Risks

by Carmen Dellutri on October 1, 2013

Fort Myers personal injury attorney Fort Myers accident lawyer

Multi-passenger vans are a convenient way for schools, churches and other organizations to transport their members. Unfortunately, they also have a fatal flaw—a high risk of rollover crashes.

Most recently, a 15-passenger van overturned on Interstate 75, just south of Fort Myers. It was carrying a church group to a convention in Tampa. The crash killed three and injured 13.

According to reports, the van suffered a tire blow out, which caused the driver to lose control. The van quickly overturned, its roof crushed under the weight of the vehicle. Witnesses were amazed anyone was able to survive.

Accidents like this are becoming increasingly common. In 2007, occupant fatalities in 15-passenger vans increased nearly 20 percent over the previous year. In crashes where the vans flipped, fatalities had increased by 73 percent.

While 15-passenger vans are inherently more susceptible to rollover given their design, there are ways to minimize the risk. The first is to minimize the number of passengers. Research shows that a van with 10 or more occupants has a rollover rate nearly three times higher than one carrying fewer than five people.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration also offers the following safety tips for anyone planning a trip in a 15-passenger van:

  • Never overload the vehicle.
  • If you are a passenger, make sure you buckle up for every trip.
  • If you are an owner, make sure the vehicle is regularly maintained.
  • Owners should have suspension and steering components inspected according to the manufacturer's recommended schedule and replace or repair these parts as necessary.
  • Owners should ensure that vehicles are equipped with properly sized and load-rated tires.
  • Owners should also make sure drivers are properly licensed and experienced in operating a 15-passenger van.
  • Before every trip, drivers should check the tires for proper inflation, and make sure there are no signs of wear or damage. Correct tire size and inflation pressure information can be found in the owner's manual and on the door pillar.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Fort Myers motor vehicle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Fort Myers injury attorneys for a free consultation.

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