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Is Your Church Van Safe?


Because of the safety risks involved, federal law prohibits the sale of 15-passenger vans for the school-related transport of high school-age and younger students.  Many states have passed regulations limiting the use of these vans, and many institutions have set deadlines for the retirement of their 15-passenger van fleets.  The nation's leading insurer of churches has stated that "15-passenger vans are inherently unsafe as currently used by many owners."  They encourage "all organizations to strongly consider other transportation options."


Why Are These Vans Considered Unsafe?

• The higher the passenger count, the more unsafe the vehicles become.

• The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHSTA) found the rollover risk of 15-passenger vans is 35% when loaded with 10-15 passengers and 70% when loaded with 16 or more passengers. In comparison, passenger cars have a rollover risk of less than 10%.

• From 1999-2003, 424 people lost their lives in van rollover accidents and hundreds more were seriously injured.

• For reference, visit Van Angels.


What Is the Solution?

Replace your van with a bus that meets federal safety specifications. The Bus Center stocks buses with passenger capacities from 12-43 passengers.

Buses feature:

• Dual rear wheels

• Easier entry and exit

• More headroom

• Center aisle for maneuverability

• Great comfort

• Adequate storage options

Some manufacturers are now making safer options of passenger vans such as the Ford Transit and the Mercedes Sprinter. Both feature a lower floor and wider wheelbase. However, a bus is still the safest option for your passengers.

Visit Lifeway's Bus Center for more information.