One person died and four others were critically injured when a church van collided with a NJ Transit bus. At the time of the accident, the van was carrying 23 people.
As reported by NorthJersey.com (10.2.13), police said that the van was overloaded but it was too early to say whether this was a contributing factor in the Garden State Parkway accident.
The bus had no passengers at the time of the accident and the bus driver was not injured.
The van was headed from Spring Valley, New York to a church function in Newark when the van swerved from the right lane into the left lane, struck the bus, rotated and rolled over.
Risk of vehicular accident increases when van is overloaded
Vans are a popular mode of transportation for churches, sports teams, and businesses. However, the risk of fatal rollover crash is high with these types of vehicles. In April, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued an advisory urging people to “take appropriate precautions to guard against the possibility of a tragic rollover crash.”
The NHTSA specifically warned users to avoid overloading these vehicles regardless of the circumstances. Overloading the van increases the instability of the vehicle while steering in emergency situations, increasing the risk of a rollover accident. Contributing to the heightened risk of an accident, many van drivers lack experience driving a larger vehicle. The high number of serious injuries and deaths associated with passenger van rollovers can also be attributed to the disproportionate number of passengers not wearing seat belts.
Tires which are not properly inflated are another common contributor to van rollover crashes.
Between 1997 and 2006, 688 people died due to rollover in 458 passenger van accidents. These statistics only reflect rollovers of 15-passenger vans.
Drivers and companies are liable for passenger van and bus accident injuries in New York
When a van driver fails to exercise caution, and riders are injured, the driver or van company can be held liable. A person who has been seriously injured in a van or bus accident is legally entitled to seek compensation from the driver or company. Monetary damages these individuals may be eligible for include: medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The experienced personal injury lawyers at The Perecman Firm focus on getting injured victims of the accident and/or their families the highest compensation available under the law.