Large vans, SUVs, and minivans are a popular mode of transportation for those who love to travel in groups on a tight budget. They are much more convenient than taking separate vehicles to get to one destination and much cheaper than flying together on a plane.
Large-capacity vans are also commonly used to transport large groups of people who may not get around easily on their own. These large vans can be commonly seen on the roads of Montebello and elsewhere in Los Angeles County, and people in our state tend to think that these vehicles are more capable of protecting them from harm than small passenger cars, because they are bigger and heavier. However, these people are wrong.
“Driving or riding in a large van may be more dangerous than driving or riding in a passenger car in certain situations, no matter how absurd it may sound,” says our Montebello large van accident attorney at The Hayes Law Firm. For example, passenger cars are safer than large vans because the latter have a higher tendency to roll over and passengers in a large-capacity van are less likely to wear seatbelts, especially when expecting a long trip ahead.
A good indicator of how unsafe large-capacity vans are is the fact that schools no longer purchase or lease these vehicles to transport children because of large vans’ inherent dangers. However, you may still see these large-capacity vans operated by church groups, daycare centers, and other organizations that need to transport people.
“So what makes large vans so dangerous?” you may be wondering. “Three reasons,” says our experienced large van accident attorney in Montebello. “Seat belts, increased risk of a rollover accident, and inexperienced drivers who do not know how to operate this type of vehicle safely.”
First things first, seat belts. Like any other type of a motor vehicle, a large van is equipped with seat belts to protect the driver and passengers in the event of a car accident. The vast majority of passengers in large vans, however, choose to not wear seat belts or forget to buckle up, especially when they expect a long trip ahead.
Many people tend to think that it does not make sense to wear safety belts for the reason we have outlined earlier. They think that they are more protected and safer when riding in a large-capacity van than in a passenger car because the former is bigger and heavier than the latter.
Statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that failure to wear a seatbelt is the leading cause of death among passengers in large van accidents. In fact, more than 80 percent of occupants who were unbuckled at the time of a large van accident died.
Now let’s move on to rollover accidents. You are more likely to get into a rollover accident when driving or riding in a large van than any other type of motor vehicle because large-capacity vans have a higher center of gravity and relatively narrow track.
The risk of a rollover accident when driving a large van increases tenfold when the van hits a road hazard or curb or the motorist swerves, makes a turn or changes lanes abruptly.
In fact, the more occupants in a large van, the bigger the risk of a rollover accident, especially when the passengers are seated toward the rear of the vehicle.
Unfortunately, many motorists who operate large vans are not properly trained to drive these vehicles. Compared to passenger cars, large vans are more difficult to steer, stop, turn, and maneuver. The risk of a large van accident increases even more when an inexperienced driver fails to exercise his or her duty of care, i.e. by exceeding the posted speed limit, failing to maintain a safe distance, running red lights, and engaging in other dangerous behaviors.
Regardless of what caused or contributed to your accident, it is important to speak to an experienced large van accident attorney in Montebello or elsewhere in Los Angeles County. Discuss your case today by scheduling a free consultation. Call at 323-477-1415.
At The Hayes Law Firm, APC, we serve all of Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, so whether you need a personal injury attorney in Montebello or a premises liability attorney in San Bernardino, we are here to serve you. Unlike other attorneys who view clients as cases, we understand that your experience has a human story behind it, and when you are in our offices, you are like a member of the family. We are ethical and compassionate, and we will take the time to find the best solution for your unique case and will work together with you every step along the way. Contact us today for a free consultation.