No matter what type of van you are driving, a business van, private van, refrigerated van, van with a refrigerated trailer or rental van, you need to take more care when behind the wheel than when driving a smaller car.
Large vehicles present a potential hazard for both the vehicle’s driver and other road users. So, here are five tips for safer van driving:
Before setting off, check your van’s oil, tire tread, and tire pressure, especially if you are planning a long journey. Furthermore, you need to ensure you get enough sleep before a long trip, as tiredness is one of the most common causes of accidents on the country’s roads.
Ensure your mirrors are positioned for maximum vision. While the higher driving position in a van provides you with more visibility ahead, larger vehicles do have many blind spots, so regular use of the mirrors is crucial. Pay close attention when parking or reversing. Also, double-check your mirrors when changing lanes as passing motorbikes are easy to miss.
Secure Loading Doors
Back in 2018, an elderly pedestrian was struck by an unsecured door on a meat delivery van. The 80-year-old suffered fatal injuries. Meanwhile, the van’s driver was charged with a dangerous driving offense and given a court sentence. Therefore, you should always make sure all side and rear cargo doors on your vehicle are securely locked before setting off.
Know Your Van’s Height
Being aware of the height of your van is crucial when approaching tunnels, overhanging trees, bridges, or canopies is crucial according to hire company Fridgexpress. Many bridges and tunnels have clear height restriction signs, but for some you will have to make a judgment call. Always be too cautious when it comes to judging the height. Furthermore, large vans require more room for parking and turning, so pay extra attention when approaching tight bends. Tall vans are also more likely to tip over due to their higher center of gravity. So, be sure to keep loads inside or on top of your vehicle evenly balanced. And, keep an eye on the wind speed.
Maintain Sufficient Distance
The braking distance in a van is much longer than what you may be used to in a typical car, especially when you have a heavy load, are traveling at speed, or are driving in bad weather conditions.