Driving a van, whether a van hire or a business van, requires a bit more care than when getting behind the wheel of smaller vehicles
Five ways van drivers can drive more safely
Larger vehicles can be a hazard on the road - for the driver and other vehicles. If you’re a van driver, whether you have a hire van or you use one for business, follow these top tips to ensure a safe journey.
1) Before you set off
Check oil and tyre pressure and tyre tread, especially before longer journeys. Tiredness is a major cause of road accidents so make sure you are well rested before setting off on a long journey.
2) Visibility matters
Adjust mirrors carefully to ensure maximum vision. A higher driving position gives you increased visibility in some ways, but the structure of a van increases the blind spots, so you’ll need to use your mirrors frequently. Pay extra attention when reversing or parking. Be extra careful when changing lanes, especially of passing motorbikes and bicycles.
3) Secure cargo doors
In 2008, an 80-year-old pedestrian was hit by the unsecured door of a meat delivery van and suffered fatal injuries. The driver involved was charged with dangerous driving and received a court sentence. (Read the full story here). So double check that all rear or side cargo doors are securely locked before you set off.
4) Size can get in the way
Knowing the height of your van is vital when approaching bridges, tunnels, canopies or overhanging trees. Some bridges and tunnels will advise you of the height restriction but there will also be some where you will have to judge it for yourself. Large vehicles also need extra room to manoeuvre, park and turn, so take care when manoeuvring around tight corners. Tall vans can tip more easily due to their height and higher centre of gravity, so keep any load spread evenly and balanced within or on top of your van.
5) Keep your distance
Vans require a much longer braking distance than cars, especially when travelling at speed, carrying a heavy load or driving in wet or icy conditions. Consult the Highway Code for legal speed requirements and stopping distances (remember to substitute ‘van length’ for ‘car length’) and apply caution when unsure.
In case an accident should happen, make sure you’re covered with Direct Line for Business Van Insurance – get an online quote today.
The information contained within this article is for general information purposes only, it does not constitute advice. Direct Line endeavours to keep the information up to date and correct but does not make any representation or warranties of any kind about its completeness, accuracy, reliability or suitability. Any reliance you place on the information is strictly at your own risk. Direct Line will not be liable for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising out of or in connection with the use of this information.