15-passenger vans are a popular choice for moving large groups of people from one place to another. While a 15-passenger van is convenient, it does not necessarily drive like a minivan. Drivers and passengers must use caution to minimize the risks associated with these vehicles. Our prevention tips can help lower your risk on the road.
1 Check your tires
Inspect the tires and check tire pressure before each use. A van’s tires, including the spare tire, need to be properly inflated and the tread should not be worn down. Excessively worn or improperly inflated tires can lead to a loss of vehicle control and possibly a rollover. (Here’s how to find a tire’s age.) Find a tire’s proper air pressure level on the driver-side doorsill or in the owner’s manual.
2 Hire trained drivers
Drivers should be trained and experienced in driving 15-passenger vans. Drivers should understand that vans handle differently than cars. Vans need more space in which to maneuver, and drivers must rely on side mirrors to change lanes.
3 Don’t overload
Never let more than 15 people ride in 15-passenger vans. More passengers and cargo mean a higher center of gravity and more risk of a rollover or loss of control in an emergency maneuver. See the owner’s manual for the van’s maximum weight limit.
4 Slow down
15-passenger vans need more time and distance to speed up and slow down. They don’t respond well to sudden moves, especially at highway speeds. Drivers should make these moves gradually and smoothly to avoid the large weight shifts that can lead to loss of control.
5 Wear seat belts
All 15-passenger van occupants must wear seat belts. Inspect belts on a regular basis, fix any broken or damaged belts or buckles, and replace missing seat belts.