Fifteen-passenger vans are commonly used to transport small groups, like church groups or sports teams. While tire safety is important in all vehicles, good tire care and maintenance is a must in order to reduce the risk of a fifteen-passenger van rollover, which can cause serious injuries or death.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most common cause of rollover in fifteen-passenger vans is tire failure. Under-inflated, aged, or defective tires are frequently involved when a van rolls over.
Van drivers can help protect their passengers by understanding the basics of tire safety. Tires should always be properly inflated and should never be used past their expiration date. A tire that is too old poses an increased risk of a blowout or other accident, even if it has never been used – for instance, if it is a spare that came with the vehicle.
The average life of a van tire is six to 10 years, according to the NHTSA. The tire’s manufacturer can give a more specific estimate of the life of the tires it manufactures. The age of a tire can be estimated by looking at the manufacturing date, which appears on the inboard sidewall of the tire. Look for a number beginning with “DOT” and ending with three or four digits.
Three-digit numbers indicate tires made before 2000, while four-digit numbers indicate tires made after 2000. The last two digits of a four-digit number indicate the year the tire was made, while the first two indicate which week of the year the tire was made.
If you’ve been hurt in a 15-passenger van crash, don’t hesitate to speak to an experienced Kentucky van accident lawyer who can help you protect your legal rights.