It’s early morning, and you are on the road. Your music is playing along, and you are enjoying the sunrise on such a beautiful morning, and you think to yourself “It is certainly a great day.”
Suddenly, you notice something happening with a large vehicle ahead of you. It runs off the road to the left and then veers back to the right across two lanes. You slow down to prevent getting any closer. Then right before your eyes, you see the large vehicle overturn almost six times, and watch in horror as passengers are ejected from their seats.
You learn later that ten of the passengers were transported to local hospitals with serious injuries. The other six passengers in the van who were ejected from their seats died at the scene. The passengers were not wearing seatbelts, and while veering across the road, the van hit another car as well.
Still Dangerous to UseIt’s no secret that 15-passenger vans are dangerous vehicles with various risks that can cause both injury and fatality to those riding inside one. In May 2004, a technical report was conducted and then distributed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The report analyzed crashes involving 15-passenger vans from 1990-2002 and found that:
- A total of 1,576 15-passenger vans were involved in fatal crashes
- Those crashes resulted in 1,111 fatalities to occupants of these vans
As part of the 2017 North American Division Initiatives, one of the primary goals is the removal of 15-passenger vans from use in all church organizations by no later than the end of 2017. These vehicles present unique risks which have not changed. They include:
- A high center of gravity increased with passenger seating
- Instability in crosswinds
- Seating configurations that place excessive weight on one side
- Increased potential for under-inflated tires, resulting in tire failure or blowouts that cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle
Adventist Risk Management, Inc. Challenges YouInstead of finding ways to combat the risks that come with using 15-passenger vans, it’s time to get rid of these vehicles altogether. ARM challenges you to make a plan to get rid of all 15-passenger vans in your ministry by no later than the end of 2017. These vehicles pose a large risk to the safety of your members and students. It is time to make an active effort towards keeping our churches, schools, and camps safe by choosing safer means of transportation.
Learn more about removing 15-passenger vans, and the rest of the 2017 NAD Initiatives here.