Rollover Accidents Involving 15-passenger Vans

Aside from head-on collisions and collisions with bigger and heavier vehicles, another type of car accident that causes serious injuries or death to drivers and passengers is rollover accident, that is, a vehicle tipping over onto its side or roof.

More than five million car accidents are reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) every year, the major causes of these include drunk driving, reckless driving, overspeeding, distracted driving and driver error. Though all these causes result from different behavioral patterns, all still fall under the same category: within the control of the driver.

A rollover accident, however, may be considered a result of manufacturing defect which primarily affects a vehicle’s stability. While any types of vehicle can rollover, the ones most susceptible to this type of accident are vehicles that have a higher ground clearance or a higher center of gravity (from the ground). Examples of these are 4-wheel-drive pickup trucks, light trucks, SUVs and vans.

In the 1990s, as the number of SUVs and vans (in the count of passenger vehicle fleet) increased, so too did incidences of rollover accidents. This prompted the NHTSA to launch an extensive campaign on rollover safety, placing greater emphasis on the safety of SUVs and 15-passenger vans.

According to Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® and the NHTSA, besides the already unstable build of SUVs and vans, the heavy cargo or items placed on top these, as well as the collective weight of the passengers, further reduces the stability of these vehicles, thus making these more prone to rollovers.

Rollover is the frequent result of a sudden turn or swerve, especially when avoiding a stopped vehicle or an obstacle on the road. It can easily turn into a fatal accident if the driver is drunk, distracted, speeding, and so forth. Drunk and reckless driving can cause a person’s insurance policy to be voided, meaning they will need a special certification to drive. With regard to 15-passenger vans, the more people inside the vehicle, the lesser its lateral stability becomes.

On its website, law firm Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, explains that, though car accidents are frequent occurrences on US roads, these are nevertheless preventable so that a victim can take a legal action against the liable party to pursue the compensation that he/she is legally allowed to receive.

In the case of 15-passenger vans, the design of the vehicle could be a contributory factor to the accident, so the victim can file a civil lawsuit against the vehicle’s manufacturer, who may be proven accountable for the accident that has happened.