This week we covered the tragic story of a Jacksonville woman who was killed in a head-on minivan accident just blocks from her home. The crash took place when a minivan veered out of its lane and into oncoming traffic. If you own or drive a minivan, what should you know about van safety and how can you help prevent a serious accident, injury, or death?

Here are a few pointers:


  • Know your blind spots. Minivans are longer and bulkier than other vehicles – and their blind spots are bigger and in different locations. When you first drive a minivan, be aware of what you can’t see, especially when changing lanes and merging.
  • Know where the controls are. Minivan driver controls are located in different places than in smaller vehicles; for example, some controls that are usually located on the center console are located on the steering wheel column. Familiarize yourself with this before you drive.
  • Adjust your seat correctly. Minivans are higher up than smaller vehicles and often have a long nose. Make sure your driver’s seat is adjusted so that you can see directly in front of your vehicle, but so that your knees do not hit the steering column.
  • Get comfortable with the length of your vehicle. With a longer car, routine maneuvers become more difficult, including backing up and parallel parking. Try executing these maneuvers in safe, low-traffic areas to get a feel for the size and length of your vehicle.
  • Don’t get distracted by your kids. Minivans carry lots of passengers, but that also means that they carry lots of distractions. Whatever is going on in your van be sure to focus on the road and the traffic around you.
  • Load your van with care. Minivans drive differently depending on what is in them. Distribute your load evenly, tie it down with care, and don’t overload your vehicle.


Many people don’t think that driving a minivan is different from driving a car or truck, but these long vehicles that hold more cargo come with special considerations. Simply knowing these differences can help prevent an accident or injury.

Are you in need of legal help after a Florida car accident? Call the Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Johnson & Gilbert today: 800.556.8890.