Is Your 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.