Safety Policy: 15 passenger vans/ non-conforming vans
Effective: July 10, 2001
Revised: July 7, 2005
All 15 passenger vans in the UTC Motor Pool were converted to 8 or 9 passenger vans by removing the back two bench seats. The UT Senior Associate Vice President deemed this necessary for safety reasons. 15 Passenger vans were phased out and replaced with 12 passenger vans with a shorter wheelbase, hence a safer vehicle.
Motor Pool no longer rents 15 passenger vans (they were converted to 8 or 9 passenger vans) and does not issue “Unable To Provide” forms for employees or departments to be reimbursed for renting 15 passenger vans from outside agencies as an alternative.
Rationale:Safety: When a 15-passenger van is fully loaded with passengers the weight shifts to the rear wheels. This can cause the driver to experience an under-steer situation which could cause the van to roll over.
DOT (Department of Transportation) study: “Analyses of crash databases and measurement of rollover propensity metrics indicate that fifteen-passenger vans might be more likely to roll over when fully loaded with occupants than when lightly loaded. For all occupant loadings, fifteen-passenger vans have an overall rollover ratio comparable to that of light trucks and vans. Analysis considering the number of occupants in the vehicle showed that fifteen-passenger vans with ten or more occupants had three times the rollover ratio than those with few than ten occupants.”