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.
• 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.