Residents in Tennessee might benefit from understanding more about the safety risks and implications associated with a van crash that recently occurred in Florida. On March 30, 18 people were inside a 15-passenger 2000 Dodge Ram van when the vehicle ran a stop sign and plunged into a ravine nearby. Ten people were killed, and eight people were injured in the accident. By April 3, four of the ten surviving victims were released from the hospital.

The 58-year-old driver killed in the crash was reportedly a long-term bus driver for the schools in St Lucie County. The nature of the accident refocused attention on the safety risks associated with many of these types of vehicles. The 15-pasenger vehicles are so risk-laden that many insurers refuse to provide coverage for the vehicles. Data collected by federal agencies shows that more than 500 people died in an accident associated with 15-passenger vans between 2004 and 2010.

Many of these accident are attributable to a blown tire or vehicles overturning. Safety advocates claim that the particular dimensions of these types of vans makes them more susceptible to being involved in a fatal accident. Organizations who frequently travel in large groups, such as churches and colleges, have been warned that overloading these vehicles can increase the likelihood of a rollover crash occurring. Many of the older model 15-passenger vans lack the tire monitoring and stability controls that are standard in today’s vehicles.

People who lose loved ones to fatal accidents often benefit from speaking with legal counsel about filing a wrongful death claim. Lawyers may be able to investigate the accidents and help identify any of the parties who may be culpable or causing the accident. Plaintiffs in these may be entitled to receive restitution designed to account for economic and noneconomic damages resulting from the untimely death.