Two people were taken to Delray Medical Center after they got into a two-vehicle accident on Interstate 95. Unfortunately, one occupant didn’t make it. The female in the accident had to be removed from the wreckage with “Jaws of Life.” She was later pronounced dead at the Medical Center. The male in the accident, also the driver of the van, remains in critical condition, according to News Channel 5.
It happened around 10:00 a.m. when two vehicles (including the van) went off the road and rolled into a bushy area. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating.
Passenger vans handle very differently from smaller passenger vehicles because they are typically longer, higher, and wider. Our Delray Beach accident attorneys understand that large vans require additional reliance on the side mirrors for changing lanes, as well as more space, additional braking distance and they also have a higher risk of crashes and rollovers if not properly driven and maintained.
In 2007, occupant fatalities in 15-passenger vans in all crashes increased nearly 20 percent over the previous year. But in vans that actually rolled over, fatalities had increased by more than 70 percent.
When driving a large van, it’s important for DRIVERS to remember:
D: Drivers should always be well-trained and experienced.
R: Rest before trips. Fatigue is a serious factor in many van accidents.
I: Inspect the vehicle before each trip. Keep a close eye on the tires.
V: Vehicles should always weight under the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.
E: Ensure that all occupants are properly buckled and mirrors are adjusted.
R: Replace tires regularly, especially when they’re old and worn.
S: Safety is key!
The problems with large vans:
-The tires on these vans can oftentimes be underinflated. When driving in higher temperatures, they deteriorate faster and hinder your driving abilities.
-When passengers are transported with cargo, the center of gravity moves upward and increases a risk for a rollover.
-The time of day allowed for driving should be limited. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), driving between midnight and 6:00 a.m. should be discouraged. This is when drivers are most likely to experience fatigue behind the wheel, and are more likely to come across intoxicated drivers.
-Have passengers sit as far towards the front of the vehicle as possible. With most 15-passenger vans, the rear seat is located behind the rear axle. This causes an uneven weight distribution, pushing the center of gravity (CG) further back. Do not tow any trailers or put cargo on the roof of the van. These actions also impact the CG, increasing chances of rollover.
-These kinds of vans are about 3 times more likely to rollover with more than 10 passengers present.
-More than 80 percent of accident-related occupant fatalities in these vans happen in single-vehicle rollover accidents.
-Many of these vans don’t have seat belts, or are not used when they’re there.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, contact Freeman Injury Law for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Broward Traffic Safety Watch: Focus on Intoxicated Pedestrians, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 10, 2013
Florida Traffic Safety: Fatal Accidents More Likely in Rural Areas, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 1, 2013