15-Passenger Van Safety

15-Passenger Vans 

The vehicle design of 15 passenger vans requires drivers and passengers to be aware of some unique limitations and techniques regarding the operation, handling and packing that will help ensure a safe trip.

AAA recommends the following driver safety tips:

Pre-Driving Preparation

  • First and foremost, make sure all passengers are using seat belts.  Carry no more passengers than available seatbelts.
  • Secure all cargo carefully, and avoid using the rear-most storage area.
  • Be aware of any blind spots in the front and sides of the vehicle.
  • Check with your state’s Department of Vehicle services for special any special licensing and training requirements.  Some states require a commercial driver’s license.

Driving, Operation & Handling

  • Recognize that these vehicles are not automobiles.  The design features of these vehicles –longer length, additional weight, especially when fully loaded, and higher center of gravity – make them more difficult to drive and control in emergency situations , and under certain weather conditions, such as high winds.
  • 15 passenger vans require more time (distance) to accelerate, turn and stop.   Steering and braking maneuvers at highway speeds must be performed gradually and smoothly to minimize large weight shifts that can lead to loss of control.
  • Understand that the vehicle weighs more than other passenger vehicles and braking distance is greater.
  • When entering a highway, allow more room to merge into traffic because of the size of the vehicle and its diminished acceleration capability.
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15-Passenger Van Safety

Provided by NHTSA, this brochure outlines safety tips for 15-passenger vans. Download »