5/10/2017

Protect Your Ministry: Remove 15-Passenger Vans From Use

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Posted by Elizabeth Camps

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.
 
This scenario happened to a group in Virginia on a Saturday morning in June 2016. The group was traveling in a 15-passenger van.
 

Still Dangerous to Use

It’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 
Although manufacturers have made different adjustments to address these risks, the NHTSA have still marked 15-passenger vans as being dangerous. An Internet search of recent 15-passenger van accidents (at the time this piece was written) will turn up at least four different accidents involving these vans that have occurred in the past year, including the incident outlined above. Each of the four accidents describes passengers sustaining injuries and even being hospitalized due to the accidents.
 
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 You

Instead 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.
 


By: Elizabeth Camps
Writing and Public Relations Specialist
Adventist Risk Managment, Inc. 

 
 
 




SOURCES:
http://www.fredericksburg.com/news/local/caroline/six-people-killed-injured-in-van-crash-on-i-/article_fa875284-3548-11e6-b00f-1b34ea595375.html
https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/809735
https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/passenger-vans#3141
https://adventistrisk.org/SiteMedia/SiteResources/PDFs/15PassengerVan_ENG_09062016_v3.pdf
 

 
 

* THIS MATERIAL IS FACT BASED GENERAL INFORMATION AND SHOULD NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, BE CONSIDERED SPECIFIC LEGAL ADVICE REGARDING A PARTICULAR MATTER OR SUBJECT. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR LOCAL ATTORNEY OR RISK MANAGER IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS HOW A LOCAL JURISDICTION DEALS WITH ANY SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES YOU MAY BE FACING.