15 passenger vans safe or not?


JLM
#1
Apparently there are some that would like to see these vans banned as school buses due to them being unsafe. There was a very tragic accident in N.B. which occurred late at night in bad road conditions. Is it a little premature to condemn these vans? Have there been other incidents of fatalities with these vans (apart from the one at Abbotsford where the van wasn't at fault, lack of maintenance & the driver were)? As we are entering the winter season I think it's a good time to point out to people that at times it is plain silly to be out on the roads regardless of the vehicle.
 
karrie
#2
Buses can allow large numbers of people to die all at once too. But getting rid of them and making people all travel individually makes zero sense.
 
lone wolf
#3
Fully loaded, they are top-heavy - just like a lot of SUV's out there. I think it's just driving too fast for the conditions
 
JLM
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

Buses can allow large numbers of people to die all at once too. But getting rid of them and making people all travel individually makes zero sense.

Well, that's just it- sometimes SH*T happens.
 
JLM
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

Fully loaded, they are top-heavy - just like a lot of SUV's out there. I think it's just driving too fast for the conditions

I think you've said it all, it just boggles the mind what the frickin hurry is that almost everyone seems to be in. It seems it doesn't matter what the limit is (and that limit is meant for ideal driving conditions) people are lined up trying to get past you at peril to themselves and everyone else.
 
TenPenny
#6
From what I have read, the issue is with FORD 15 passenger vans. When GM builds the longer vans, they use a longer frame and wheelbase. Ford's design uses the same wheelbase, and hangs the extra row off the end, so to speak.

The Ford's handling dynamics become terrible when it is fully loaded, from what I have read, and there's some logic to it.

The other thing is that vans are not built to the same standards as cars.

Still, having all-season tires on a passenger van in winter should be a criminal offense, it's so stupid.

Bad roads, bad road conditions, bad weather, bad tires, tired driver, and a fully-loaded, poorly-designed vehicle all adds up to a mess.
 
countryboy
#7
My observation on this thing about banning this vehicle or that vehicle because an awful accident occurred is a bit like reacting to a tragic shooting by calling for a ban on guns...it's the PERSON, not the object, that usually is the cause of the problem. A couple of exceptions I can think would be the Chevy Corvair and the Ford Pinto, both of which were proven to have design faults that could turn into surprises for the driver. I also recall that back in the 70s Firestone introduced a new steel-belted radial tire that used to blow unexpectedly and they were eventually redesigned to work.

By and large, the vehicles these days are designed far better than the ones of yesteryear, and certainly have more advanced safety features. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule...

THE DRIVER

Some people simply look at driving as a simple exercise. It's not simple at all - it's a potentially life-threatening act to take a vehicle out on the road, every time. We have a few more distractions these days - more traffic in some areas, cell phones, etc. - but by and large, there have always been a percentage of drivers out there who don't take their responsibilities behind the wheel seriously.
Driving too fast for conditions, not paying enough attention to what's going on around them, overloading the vehicle, failing to make sure tires are pressured up right and in good condition, brakes properly maintained, and a few other things all seem to be the major causes of accidents. And that means the “pilot in command” is generally at fault. I don't think very many REAL accidents actually happen...they are the result of how the driver treats the entire experience and thus, are preventable. This is just my “anecdotal opinion.”

SO WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

Well, as a starter, I would make it mandatory for every new driver to take a real driving course on a race track. Complete with encountering a slippery patch of road at 110 km/hr with big objects on either side, high-speed spinouts and all the other realism that usually occurs when something goes wrong on a public highway. And then review all this with the student so they learn what to do in all kinds of emergencies (and how to prevent them or minimize the damage). And then do it again, and again, and again, until they have the skills and the confidence to drive well in public.

By the way, I'd also include a healthy dose of the gory education detailed below.

WHAT ABOUT THE EXPERIENCED (BUT LOUSY) DRIVERS?

Well, education might help, but I think it first comes right down to people taking responsibility for their actions. If every driver could get that concept firmly implanted in their head, then any corresponding education would at least have a place to settle in and start to do some good. I would include in that education a day of viewing the bloodiest, goriest vids and photos of real accidents (showing the consequences of bad driving), complete with detailed descriptions of what it was like to clean up the messes...running those sessions might be a great career for some retired police officers and ambulance drivers who wish to use their experience to make a valuable contribution to society.

I would also change the silly habit of just issuing traffic tickets for speeding and other driving offences. This would require sorting out which offences are the causes of the worst accidents, and that information must be in the record books somewhere. A ticket just represents a cash outlay and doesn't really do much to improve driving. (i.e., modify bad behaviour) If a driver isn't driving well, it's likely because they don't know how, or they don't give a damn. Or both.

Instead of simple cash fines, I'd rather see compulsory attendance at these “educational” sessions for first offenders. For second offenders, how about a meaningful fine (say, a thousand bucks or so) plus another educational session. For a third offence, all the above plus a licence suspension for a few months. If there is a fourth offence, just remove the privilege of driving permanently.

WHY SO HARSH? (How badly do we want to make our roads safer?)

Well, if the offender didn't get the message after 3 hits, I wouldn't want the crazy bastard anywhere near my space (or that of my loved ones) on the road.

Would you?
 
TenPenny
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by countryboy View Post

My observation on this thing about banning this vehicle or that vehicle because an awful accident occurred is a bit like reacting to a tragic shooting by calling for a ban on guns...

I believe that in the aftermath of the Bathurst accident, it was noted that almost all US jurisdictions specifically do not allow these types of vans to be used by schools.
It's more of a case of suddenly waking up and joining the rest of the world.
 
countryboy
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

I believe that in the aftermath of the Bathurst accident, it was noted that almost all US jurisdictions specifically do not allow these types of vans to be used by schools.
It's more of a case of suddenly waking up and joining the rest of the world.

No argument from me on that...if the vehicle ain't right for the purpose, then it shouldn't be used...especially for school bus use.
 
Francis2004
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

Apparently there are some that would like to see these vans banned as school buses due to them being unsafe. There was a very tragic accident in N.B. which occurred late at night in bad road conditions. Is it a little premature to condemn these vans? Have there been other incidents of fatalities with these vans (apart from the one at Abbotsford where the van wasn't at fault, lack of maintenance & the driver were)? As we are entering the winter season I think it's a good time to point out to people that at times it is plain silly to be out on the roads regardless of the vehicle.

In the case of the BC Van, 3 years ago, it was mainly due to the fact it was a 10 passenger van was carrying 17 people with some sitting on wooden benches and no seat belts.

I think going way out of the specifications of the vehicle should be a crime..

CBC News - British Columbia - Driver blames ex-RCMP van in 3-death crash
 
countryboy
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by Francis2004 View Post

In the case of the BC Van, 3 years ago, it was mainly due to the fact it was a 10 passenger van was carrying 17 people with some sitting on wooden benches and no seat belts.

I think going way out of the specifications of the vehicle should be a crime..

CBC News - British Columbia - Driver blames ex-RCMP van in 3-death crash

That's a no-brainer - just plain stupid to load a van like that. Which goes right back to the fact that some human made the decision to set it up that way, and a (possibly the same) human chose to drive it that way. Jeez...
 
Kakato
#12
I was designated crummy driver in the mine I worked at in BC and I didnt find them top heavy when loaded to the nads. They handled as well as the 4x4's we used if not better and we were working on the top of a mountain.

But if you have ever been in one you would have a good idea of how small of a chance you have of surviving a crash as you are packed in like sardines in a 15 man van.

Somewhere I have a picture of one after a 200 tonne rock truck backed over it leaving the shop(no walk around) and it's about 18 inches high after it got squashed,the driver didnt even know what he did.
 
lone wolf
#13
Whether or not a driver experienced with handling characteristics of any vehicle is comfortable, people make mistakes. Danger is compounded when the driver is unaware, is driving without due care ...or is relying on experience gained in vehicle with much different handling characterics.

http://www.vanangels.org/
 
countryboy
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

Whether or not a driver experienced with handling characteristics of any vehicle is comfortable, people make mistakes. Danger is compounded when the driver is unaware, is driving without due care ...or is relying on experience gained in vehicle with much different handling characterics.

http://www.vanangels.org/

Yep, it's almost incredible that a person with a regular drivers licence can jump into a 40 ft. motorhome and just drive away. I used to own a big RV and it took a bit of getting used to - and I had some truck driving experience.

I'm not suggesting a mess of confusing new regulations, but some type of differentiating vehicles and qualifying people to drive them might be a good idea...especially the bigger ones.
 

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