Many Homestead visitors and residents choose to buy passenger vans. Indeed, in recent years vans have become extremely popular. They offer more loading space for grocery trips, and they are very popular with families, as they provide added room for children and passengers. Unfortunately, passenger vans can also lead to increased risk of Homestead car accidents. Vans handle differently and have a higher center of gravity than most passenger vehicles, potentially making them riskier for rollovers and other problems. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are several things that drivers can do to make their vans safer:
1) Gradually get accustomed to your passenger van. These vehicles are wider, higher, and longer than most passenger vehicles and handle very differently. You will rely on your mirrors more and have more blind spots than a driver with a sedan. It will take you longer to brake and more space to park or change lanes. This will take some time to get used to. According to the NHTSA, inexperienced drivers are more likely to be in a van accident. When you first get your van, give yourself plenty of time to get accustomed to the new vehicle before you go ahead and pack it with passengers or cargo. Take your van on frequent rides along less busy streets in order to familiarize yourself with the car. This will reduce your chance of being in a Homestead pedestrian accident or traffic accident.
2) Reduce your risk of rollovers. Vans have a higher center of gravity, making them more of a risk for Homestead rollover accidents. You can reduce your risk of rollovers by getting proper training for your passenger van, by driving without speeding, by avoiding distracted driving, and by loading your car carefully.
3) Maintain your passenger van correctly. Poorly maintained vans are more likely to be in a rollover. Take your can in for required tune-ups, especially if you notice any problems with the way your van handles.
4) Make sure you know who is driving your family in passenger vans. Passenger vans are often used by organizations. If your children are going on a camping trip or to a school event, for example, they may be riding in a passenger van. Ask questions and make sure that the driver in charge of the van has adequate experience with that type of vehicle.
5) Check your tires often. If you own a passenger van, make sure that the tires are properly aligned, not worn down, and properly inflated. Since vans tend to carry larger loads and more passengers than most passenger vehicles, they can place more stress on tires, putting you at risk of a Homestead tire blowout. Poorly maintained tires can also put you at a higher risk for skids, slides, and rollovers, so check your tires before every trip.
6) Don’t carry more items or passengers than your passenger van allows. Check the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating for your van and be sure to follow the guidelines. Overburdening your van makes it far more likely that you will be in an accident or that your tires will blowout. In addition to carrying less, make sure that every item in your car is properly secured. In the event of a Homestead car accident, any heavy items in your passenger van will become projectiles, increasing your risk of head injury, broken bones, and even fatal injuries.
7) Wear your seat belt. If you are in a Homestead truck accident or car accident, wearing your seatbelt can dramatically improve the chances that you will survive the crash. In all too many accidents, fatalities and permanent injuries occur when a passenger is ejected from the vehicle. Staying inside and secured with a safety belt is your best chance of survival. Even on short trips, buckle up before you start the vehicle.
8) Check safety issues with your van. Some vans have better safety records than others. If you’re in a Homestead car accident caused by a manufacturer defect, you may have a Homestead products liability case. However, it is better to know about such defects and problems before you make any purchasing decisions. Compare different bands and safety features to select the safest van you can. Once you have purchased your vehicle, keep up to date with recalls and safety notices so that you can get any issues resolved before they result in an accident.
If you have been in a Homestead van or traffic accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group to arrange for a free consultation to discuss your case. With law offices throughout South Florida and extensive trial experience, the legal team at the Flaxman Law Group can help advise you about your case, can represent you, can help you negotiate with insurance carriers, and can otherwise ensure that you face the brightest future possible after your traffic accident.