15-passenger vans and shuttles are generally a great pick for traveling, taking into consideration the Space, Storage, and Ease of Travel it offers to its occupants.  They are often much easier to park than larger shuttles.  While the vans are comfortable, they should be driven by experienced professional.

When loaded fully with 15-passengers, the center of gravity also moved rearward, thus increasing the load on rear tires. Based on this research, NHTSA came up with some Top Safety Recommendations for 15-Passenger Vans.  It is very important to remember that even though you don’t need a special license to drive one, many things should be considered.

  1. Experience

15-Passenger vans should be driven by experienced, licensed drivers who operate this type of vehicle on a regular basis. It is essential to know that a 15-passenger van operates differently from cars, predominantly when fully loaded. Some ways by which the experience can be measured are:

  • Having a driver’s license for at least 5 years
  • Being of a certain age (generally 25) assuming they have been driving since the earliest allowable age.
  • Having experience of driving a truck or other large vehicles before this job.
  1. Attention

Fatigue is a common factor in crash statistics. Policies must be adopted to reduce driver fatigue. The driver must be given enough rest such that he/she can focus solely on driving. The driver should never use a handheld phone while driving- especially to text. The driver shall also try to limit the conversation with other passengers. Taking a 10-minute break after 100 miles or 2 hours is also a recommendation of the National Safety Council.

  1. Speed

It goes without saying that the drivers must follow the speed limit and must reduce the speed if required, based on the road and weather conditions. Driver must keep in mind that 15-passenger vans require additional braking time and cannot handle unanticipated situations as efficiently as cars.

  1. Seat Belts

All the occupants need to wear seat belts. The driver should inspect the belts regularly and replace the damaged belts. The driver needs to make sure that everyone on board is wearing a seatbelt before starting the journey.

  1. Tire Pressure

Low tire pressure can lead to fatal crashes. Tire pressure must be monitored from time to time strictly for safety purposes. A tire pressure sensor can be equipped in the van in such a manner that can alert the driver if the tire pressure is below its optimal value. While this might not be a piece of standard equipment, but it is a meritable instrument in improving the vehicle’s stability.  The driver of the 15 passenger van or shuttle should check tire pressures prior to each trip.

  1. Spares

A driver must conduct a pre-trip inspection before each trip. Each tire must be thoroughly inspected and the damaged ones must be replaced immediately.  Make sure to include the interior tires on dual wheel axle vehiclles.  All tires depreciate with age even if they are unused. Used 15-passenger vans might sometimes come with these dangerous older tires. Tire Identification Number (TIN) must be checked on the tire’s sidewall. The last 4 digits indicate the manufacturing year of the tire. Generally, the tires should be replaced after 6 years from the day of manufacturing.

  1. Occupancy

Driver must not allow more than 15 people to enter the bus. The seats must be filled from the front to the rear. When the van isn’t full, the front side should be filled with priority.  You don’t want all of the passengers and weight to be in the rear of the van or shuttle.

  1. Size

A 15-passenger van is noticeably different than any normal car. Due to higher weight (when fully loaded) it requires additional stopping time. The length of the van increases the distances needed for making turns, changing lanes, and backing. Due to all these factors, experienced drivers or well-trained drivers should drive the van.

Prior to buying, renting, or leasing a 15-passenger bus or shuttle, one should keep in mind the safety precautions recommended by NHTSA. At NationsBus.com we provide a large variety of 15-passenger vans and shuttles that are well-equipped with all the latest technology that helps in reducing the risk of accidents and adding to the comfort of the passengers. These vans and shuttles are equipped with many safety types of equipment which include, but aren’t confined to, First-Aid Kit, Fire Extinguisher, and Reflector kits. Keeping in mind the requirements, our technical team would suggest the best van that would match your purpose. Our technical team would be present at each step to guide you in the technical aspects of the van as well as the non-technical aspects which include some basic safety precautions that need to be taken care of. At NationsBus.com the safety of the passenger is given utmost priority. If you are looking for a 15-passenger vehicle, do not hesitate to give us a call!