DRIVEN: A Book On Mothers Working To Prevent Deaths and Injuries in 15 Passenger Van Crashes

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

On January 12, 2008 there was a tragic crash of a 15 Passenger Van in Canada that resulted in the death of seven high school boys and the wife of the basketball coach who was driving the Van but survived.

We are approaching the 6th anniversary of that crash. Since then in the U.S. hundreds more occupants of 15 Passenger Vans have died. NHTSA counted 174 crash deaths of occupants of 15 Passenger Vans during the six years 2008 – 2010. Since 2010, perhaps another 150 crash deaths have occurred — but that data has not yet been published by NHTSA. On average one 15 Passenger crash death occurs every week in the U.S.

Uncounted by NHTSA are the serious injuries destructive to brains, spinal cords, faces, and limbs resulting in major life altering consequences to individuals and families.

DRIVEN, by Richard Foot, is a new and inspirational book about mothers who lost sons in crashes and who have been working for six years to prevent more such tragedies.

Do we need people to read this book? With each day, on average in the U.S., Americans in all crashes – not just 15 Passenger Vans – suffer about 100 crash deaths, 400 serious crash injuries, and $1 billion in losses. So the answer is Yes!

Do we need people worldwide, to recognize and value the love, stories, sorrows, works, and powers of mothers to prevent future tragedies? Yes!

How do we get people to read this book? Recommendations? Yes! Reviews? Yes! Interviews? Yes!

Book Awards? Prizes? Let’s hope so – for the sake of all of us.

Years of work by Mr. Foot, researching and delicately describing the heart breaking stories of these mothers deserves worldwide recognition. The tragedies and the struggles he describes took place in Canada involving 15 Passenger Van crashes, but the lessons are universal.

DRIVEN can help people understand the tragedies of crash victims – and we are all crash victims in so many ways.

DRIVEN can help people to act collaboratively to improve safety for all of us.

DRIVEN shows how others helped the mothers in their struggles — truly humanitarian stories of community collaboration that show what it takes to make safety progress.

The stories raise questions of why safety progress is such a struggle. Why would government officials not answer questions or act to protect? Why do corporate and government officials engage in efforts to Delay, Evade, Abstain from acting, and then Deny responsibility — as more die each and every year?

The tragedies these mothers experienced involved the deaths of their sons in crashes of 15 Passenger Vans. The problems of failures to protect have been going on for a long time. NHTSA data on 15 Passenger Van fatal crashes shows 1,759 fatalities from 1990 – 2010. See attached.

DRIVEN raises important questions:

    • How many more people must die or be tragically injured needlessly?
    • What will it take to move corporate and government officials to protect its citizens and product users?
    • What can we all do to help?

Disclosure: One of the Canadian mothers who lost a son in a 15 Passenger Van crash sent me a courtesy copy of the book DRIVEN.

We can and must help end such tragedies.

The mothers’ Van Angels group continues to provide an educational website to the public that monitors actions and inactions on the safety of 15 Passenger Vans. See

Thank you to the mothers of Van Angels for their years of persistent efforts to build a safer system of transport.

Thank you to Mr. Richard Foot for years of reporting, research, and documentation of this heart touching story of safety work in DRIVEN.

May DRIVEN help us all do better.

Lou Lombardo

Additional resources available are:

60 Minutes II Video on 15-Passenger van rollover

My previous Blog on the Canadian safety efforts at

Canadian documents at:

CCMTA Evaluation of 15-Passenger Vans CCMTA Evaluation of 15-Passenger Vans FAQs Safety Guidelines for the use of 15-Passenger Vans

Associated Documents:

Click on file names to download:

1 – PassengerVan15_1990_2010_C

2 – Traffic Safety Facts – May 2009

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