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1 15-Passenger Van Safety Department of Juvenile Justice.

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1 1 15-Passenger Van Safety Department of Juvenile Justice

2 2 Introduction Fifteen-passenger vans are more likely to be involved in a single-vehicle rollover crash than any other type of vehicle. In response, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued safety advisory on these vehicles. The good news is that the Department of Juvenile Justice has implemented educational driving courses and training to inform staff on how to reduce rollover risk, avoid potential dangers and better protect occupant in the event of a rollover crash.

3 3 NHTSA Report 15-passenger vans have a increased rollover risk under certain conditions The risk of rollover increases dramatically as the number of occupants increases from fewer than five occupants to over ten passengers. 15-passenger vans (with 10 or more occupants) had a rollover rate in single vehicle crashes that is nearly 3 x the rate of those that were lightly loaded.

4 4 NHTSA Report (continued) Loading 15-passenger vans causes the center of gravity to shift rearward and upward increasing the likelihood of rollover. Shift in the center of gravity will also increase the potential for loss of control in panic maneuvers. It is important that the van be operated by experienced drivers, they should understand and be familiar with the handling characteristics of their vans, especially when fully loaded.

5 5 NHTSA Reports (continued) Institutions using 15-passenger vans should require seat belt use at all times. Any load placed on the roof will be above the center of gravity of the vehicle and will increase the likelihood of rolling over.

6 6 NHTSA Recommends 1. Keep your passenger load light. NHTSA research has shown that 15- passenger vans have a rollover risk that increases dramatically as the number of occupants increases from fewer than five to more than ten. In fact, 15-passenger vans (with 10 or more occupants) had a rollover rate in single vehicle crashes that is nearly three times the rate of those that were lightly loaded.

7 7 NHTSA Recommends (continued) 2. Check your van’s tire pressure frequently — at least once a week. A just-released NHTSA study found that 74 percent of all 15-passenger vans had improperly inflated tires. By contrast, 39 percent of passenger cars had improperly inflated tires. Improperly inflated tires can change handling characteristics, increasing the prospect of a rollover crash in 15- passenger vans.

8 8 3. Require all occupants to use their seat belts or the appropriate child restraint. Nearly 80% of those who have died nationwide in 15- passenger vans were not buckled up. Wearing seat belts dramatically increases the chances of survival during a rollover crash. NHTSA Recommends (continued)

9 9 4. If at all possible, seat passengers & place cargo forward of the rear axle — and avoid placing any loads on the roof. By following these guidelines, you’ll lower the vehicle’s center of gravity and lower the chance of a rollover crash. NHTSA Recommends (continued)

10 10 5. Be mindful of speed and road conditions. The analysis of 15- passenger van crashes also shows that the risk of rollover increases significantly at speeds over 50 miles per hour and on curved roads. NHTSA Recommends (continued)

11 11 6. Only qualified drivers should be behind the wheel. Special training and experience are required to properly operate a 15-passenger van. Make sure your driver or drivers have both — and only operate these vehicles when well rested and fully alert. NHTSA Recommends (continued)

12 12 Overview 15-passenger Vans should be operated by experienced drivers. In order to insure we have the most qualified drivers we now offer: Educational Driving Training Courses

13 13 Accident Facts 25% of all driving accidents are the result of excessive speed. 70% of driving accidents occur within 25 miles from home. 1 out of 4 employees who drive experience an accident while at work. Most people know someone who has died in a car accident.

14 14 15-Passenger Van Facts A speed that may be acceptable in a passenger car could be dangerous in a van. A 16 passenger vehicle requires a CDL You should fill the front seats first. The center of gravity shifts to the rear and upward increasing the likelihood of rollover as capacity increases. Soft shoulders and culverts pose a hazard in rural areas. The shift in the center of gravity will also increase the potential for loss of control in panic maneuvers.

15 15 Driving Tips For all kinds of vehicles. Defensive Driving Theories Dealing with aggressive drivers Backing the vehicle Highway driving City Driving Rural Driving Emergency situations Vehicle accidents

16 16 Driving Tips for all vehicles Avoid sharp turns. Avoid excessive speed and abrupt maneuvers. Don’t drive tired. Don’t drive in bad weather Drive conservatively Rest stops often (every 2 hrs. recommended) Wear seat belts Drive during the day, if possible. Require someone to be awake in the front seat with the driver on long trips

17 17 For all vehicles (continued) 2-way radio for all vehicles and cellular phone for leader on multi-vehicle trips. Trip leader to drive lead vehicle and set pace...no other vehicle shall pass. Obey all laws, signs and speed limits.

18 18 Defensive Driving Theories Drive with courtesy Be calm when driving Concentrate when driving Drive cautiously

19 19 Dealing With Aggressive Drivers Avoid eye contact. Don’t cut in front of other drivers. Allow fellow drivers to merge Don’t aggravate fellow drivers with hand gestures. Don’t tailgate. Use your horn sparingly.

20 20 Backing The Vehicle Use a spotter Back to the left (driver’s side) Avoid backing up if you miss a ramp/exit. Use outside mirrors.

21 21 Highway Driving Lane changes and signals. Merges Blind Spots Slow moving vehicles

22 22 City Driving Stop signs Stop lights Yield Signs Signals Blind spots Pedestrians Bicyclist

23 23 Rural Driving Bicyclist Walkers Deer/Moose Soft shoulders Culverts Curves, hills and narrow roads

24 24 Emergency Situations Encountering emergency vehicles Headlights go out Tire blow out Engine failure Break Failure

25 25 Check-Out Procedures Vehicle usage must be pre-approved by the budget administrator for your department or organization. Arrangements are made through the Purchasing Department. Driver’s must have a valid state driver’s license. Keys must be picked up by the driver. Inspect the vehicle and report any problems.

26 26 Vehicle Accident Relax Never leave the scene of an accident. Report the accident to the police. Never admit fault. Gather all the facts (date, time, witnesses, phone numbers, etc.) Report all accidents to immediate Supervisor and Fleet Headquarters Office.


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