Intersection Warning Signs Some variation of the sign shown on the right will be posted prior to intersections or crossroads where railroad tracks cross one of the roadways. Always be alert and pay attention to these signs as they give you advance warning that you may encounter a train if turning onto the road indicated in the sign. For more information on Railroad Crossing Safety contact Operation Lifesaver of Tennessee 9208 Apache Trail Brentwood, TN 37027 www.tnol.org or Federal Railroad Administration Office of Public Affairs (Stop 5) 1120 Vermont Ave, NW Washington, DC 20590 www.fra.dot.gov The following safety tips will help prevent crashes, including rollover crashes in passenger vans, as well as protect you in case an unavoidable crash does occur. Safety Restraints All occupants in passenger vans must wear safety belts at all times. This is the law in Tennessee, as well as many other states. As stated previously, NHTSA estimates that 80 percent of passenger van fatalities were not properly restrained at the time of the crash. Our research shows that 195 people were killed in passenger vans in Tennessee between 1994 and, and of the 181 people with known restraint usage, 138 (76%) were not restrained. With this proportion, we can estimate that 105 lives may have been saved if everyone had been properly restrained. Tire Pressure Tires need to be inspected and tire pressure checked every time the van is used. Excessively worn or improperly inflated tires can lead to a loss of control situation and rollover. Tread should be checked to insure there is enough grip, and to make sure there are no signs of tread separation. Also important to note is that many of these vans have extremely different tire pressure recommendations for front versus rear tires. Under- inflation of the rear tires (especially the left rear) is a major cause of tread separation. Driver Anyone who operates a passenger van should be trained and experienced, since these machines react much differently SAFETY TIPS FOR PASSENGER VANS
than passenger cars. There are no special endorsements or licenses needed to operate a passenger van in the State of Tennessee. Just as important as experience, is attention. Drivers should be well-rested and should not use cellphones or other handheld devices, so they maintain focus on the road. These vehicles require longer stopping distances and do not turn as easily as passenger cars. As with all vehicles, drugs and alcohol should not be used by the driver. Since these vans are bigger and it is often more difficult to see other traffic, it maybe a good idea to use an occupant as a spotter. Nearly 70% of the fatal passenger van crashes in Tennessee involved two or more vehicles. Check the Load Have passengers sit as far towards the front of the vehicle as possible. With most passenger vans, the rear seat is located behind the rear axle. This causes an uneven weight distribution, pushing the center of gravity (CG) further back. Do not tow any trailers or put cargo on the roof of the van. These actions also impact the CG, increasing chances of rollover.