Authorities are investigating a 15-passenger van crash that killed three people and left six others injured after the van zipped off Interstate 85 and down an embankment in northeast Georgia. State Patrol said that the bus carried 12 passengers and was near Commerce, Georgia. 15-passenger van accidents have become so common that some church insurance companies refuse to insure them because they present inherent safety concerns that give them tendency for tragic accidents. For example, the height and width of the vehicles lead to questionable structural integrity.
For over a decade, federal transportation officials have warned the public about the potential instability of 15-passenger vans. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has warned church groups and college campuses that overloading a 15-passenger van increases the risk of a rollover. In addition, they are difficult to maneuver when emergency strikes. Officials urge the owners to check tire pressure before every trip.
When choosing a driver, credentials and years of experience are essential for safe operation. Your ministry should be aware of the fact that 15-passenger vans were originally designed as cargo buses, but auto-manufacturers later transformed them into vehicles to carry passengers. However, they kept the first design, which means they do not meet the safety standards of school buses and passenger cars. If 10 or more passengers are in the van, the center of gravity shifts to the back of the vehicle.
Distance does not matter. The government reports that 70 percent of van accidents occur with a 25-mile radius of the van's home destination. Church insurance becomes merely one obstacle to 15-passenger vans. For example, federal and state law have increased the pressure. While industry experts guess that approximately 600,000 15-passenger vans are used today, the majority will be history in a few years because of sky-high insurance premiums, which is forcing ministries to consider other options of transport.
Call Pachuta Insurance Today @ 706-769-2262
Christian Science Monitor
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