DUAL WHEEL CONVERSIONS, THE SOLUTION TO 15-SEATER VAN ROLLOVER ACCIDENTS.
Today, most institutions that use 15-passenger vans to transport their members are aware of the rollover
accident danger. Over 1000 people have died in 15-seater van rollover accidents. According to the National Highway
Traffic Administration (NHTSA)there have been 483 fatal rollovers: 763 people killed: 1,469 incapacitatingly injured
from 1982 to 2001. These figures do not include the dozens of accidents that have happened since that time.
The trouble starts with emergency maneuvers, a quick turn of the wheel to avoid an obstacle or when a tire
tread comes off. The contributing cause of a rollover are the weight and balance of the van. In a fully loaded
15-passenger van, the weight is NOT evenly distributed. In fact, almost 50% of the weight is distributed in the left
rear corner of the van, which is why the left-rear tire fails in the vast majority of 15-passenger van accidents. The
back end of a 15-passenger van has been extended. That means when its fully loaded, there is a seat with four passengers
behind the rear axle that tends to make the back end heavy. So when there is a sudden swerve, the rear end can try to
swerve out, putting extreme stress on the rear-left tire and there is a resulting blow out. The second critical issue
is that the van is top heavy. It has what engineers call a high center of gravity, the more people on board, the
more top heavy it becomes.
The solution to the rollover problem, is to put Dual Rear Wheels on 15-passenger vans. Converting
to Dual Rear Wheels extends the wheel width to add stability, prevent fishtailing, and reduce side sway. Dual wheels
in the rear greatly improve traction as well as offer the safety redundancy of an extra tire on each side so that the risk
of sudden failure of one tire from overload is removed, Ford vans sold in Europe are required to have dual rear wheel
systems, so the technology is already in place. Drivers remarks after driving a Dual Rear Wheel Conversion are
that they notice a "startling difference" in handling characteristics, far superior lateral stability, less "bounce"
and more controlled steering while transporting a full load of passengers and while towing a trailer.
For more information on cost and fiberglass fenders contact Pat Orrick, Alamo Conversion Co. @ 210-647-1100,