About a year ago, the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration issued a springtime warning for passengers traveling in 15 passenger vans out on America’s highways. These particular vehicles, the NHSTA advised, are especially prone to rollover accidents because of how their center of gravity can shift when they become overloaded. And now, spring is here again, meaning the safety tips for 15 passenger vans are particularly timely — and that goes double for high school students looking forward to their celebratory prom season.
But things haven’t changed when it comes to passenger vans. In fact, they’re still as dangerous as they were one year, and even decades, ago. As one story in the New York Times reports, the rollover rate for a 15 passenger van carrying at least 10 occupants is easily three times higher the same rate for one with fewer than five passengers in tow. Yet nothing can stop the party, so what is a gaggle of eager young women decked out in fluorescent, silky dresses and young men suited up in tuxes to do? One option is to invest in a 15 passenger bus instead of a van.
Picture it. You’re dressed in your finest clothing, waiting to bust a move to the latest Skrillex tune at the local country club. But your parents don’t trust the unwieldy mass of a passenger van traveling with their precious child. They’ve heard too many horror stories. They’re not cool with sending off their only kin aboard a vehicle with a questionable track record on the road.
Then an idea pop into your head — the local church. They’ve got an entire fleet of 15 passenger buses stashed away in the parking lot. (OK, they have two, and they use them for youth group field trips). Why couldn’t you do the same thing for your entourage of prom-goers? You’d have to work out the logistics (finding a good used bus isn’t easy, after all), but you absolutely could, and more to the point, you most likely should. In the interest of safety, of course.
Finding a good used bus is a process. You could scout out all the local dealerships for minibuses for sale. You could look on Craigslist and set yourself up for disappointment when the vehicle turns out to be a junker. No matter what you do, your search for the right 15 passenger bus is important because of the safety benefits they can boast that regular passenger vans simply can’t. For example:
- Sturdier frames: Buses are made out of more crash-resistant materials than vans, meaning they can provide more protection in the event of an emergency.
- Even weight distribution: Part of the problem with passenger vans is that they were manufactured to act the same as cars around turns, though they don’t. Buses, on the other hand, are meant to act like buses.
- Overall maintenance: Vans might seem like a more cost-effective option in the long run, but statistics show buses end up being a better financial decision.
At the end of the day, remember that convenience is nice, but safety takes priority over everything else. For more info on finding a good used bus, talk to local dealers in your area.