Just recently in Florida, a horrific van accident claimed the lives of eight people. The van was carrying a group of people from a church revival in Fort Myers to their home in Fort Pierce. Along the way, the driver of the van missed a stop sign and plunged into a shallow ditch. Eight people were killed and two others were left in critical condition. The van was equipped to hold fifteen people and was carrying eighteen people instead. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued many warnings that 15 passenger vans are at high risk of rollovers especially if they are over-loaded. Newer 15 passenger vans now come equipped with electronic stability control systems. The older models don't contain these features and drivers are more likely to lose control. The NHTSA's research shows that a 15 passenger van carrying 10 or more occupants has 3 times higher rollover rate than one carrying 5 passengers or less.
There are other factors that also contribute to the high risk of rollovers in passenger vans. When more cargo and passengers are added, the van's center of gravity shifts toward the rear of the vehicle and that causes instability which makes a rollover more likely. Also, large passenger vans handle differently than smaller vehicles due to their dimensions. Rollover risks also increase at speeds of 50 mph or higher. Additionally, the NHTSA found that 80% of occupants killed in van rollover accidents between 2003 and 2007 were not wearing seatbelts.
Injuries from a Florida Rollover Accident:
Florida rollover accidents can result in serious, catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Some common injuries from rollover accidents include:
- Head Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Back & Neck Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Broken Ribs
- Internal Injuries
How to Prevent Florida Rollover Accidents:
There are several measure drivers and passengers can take to avoid Florida rollover accidents including:
- Keep tires inflated and balanced: Check air pressure often, especially on passenger vans and keep tires balanced as this makes the vehicle more stable and much safer.
- Choose vehicles with lower centers of gravity: SUV's, passenger vans, minivans and pick-up trucks all have a high center of gravity which makes them more susceptible to rollovers.
- Slow down when turning: Going too fast into a turn is the main reason for rollover accidents. A vehicle can swerve sideways and run into a curb or guardrail causing it to rollover.
- Don't drink and drive: Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs can lead to erratic driver behavior and can lead to a fatal rollover accident.
- Make sure everyone is wearing a seatbelt: Unbelted passengers can be thrown like projectiles during a rollover accident and head and neck injuries are very common.
Rollover Accident Attorney in Sarasota and Bradenton:
If you were injured in a rollover accident or any other type of motor vehicle accident, please contact Michael L. Morgan Law Group, P.A., at (941) 218-8220. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no cost to you unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Call us to schedule a free consultation.