A 15-passenger van carrying 12 people drove off a Georgia interstate resulting in the death of three people. According to a news report in The Christian Science Monitor, the fatal van accident occurred along Interstate 85 near Commerce, 65 miles northeast of Atlanta. Officials say the van careened off the interstate and crashed into an embankment. Of the 12 people inside the van, three were killed and at least six were injured. It is unclear what caused the crash or how it could have been prevented.
This fatal crash occurred just a week after another similar van crash resulted in the death of eight members of a Florida church. These types of accidents are relatively common for passenger vans. The accident that took place on April 6 did not involve a blown tire, but many passenger van accidents are the direct result of tire issues and a loss of control. These vehicles are simply not designed to maneuver in the event of an emergency.
According to officials with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), some insurance companies refuse to insure 15-passenger vans because they are so dangerous. These vehicles are particularly hazardous when they are overloaded, loaded unevenly or when they are not properly maintained. Furthermore, their height and width make them prone to rolling over and they lack stability controls and tire pressure monitoring that can be found in newer vans.
Approximately 521 people were killed in 15-passenger vans between the years 2004 and 2010. If you ever have to ride in one of these potentially dangerous vehicles, make sure:
- The passengers in the back are evenly distributed.
- The van is not too full.
- The driver is experienced.
- Everyone is wearing his or her seatbelt and that children are secured in child safety seats.
- The tires are properly inflated and are not worn.
- Your driver is experienced, alert, focused, and sober.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a van accident, please contact an experienced Atlanta van wreck lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that your legal rights are protected.