It is not uncommon to be asked to drive a van in many industries, and so, it is imperative to ensure that you can confidently maneuver one if you have a driving career. Even though most driving licenses allow people to drive commercial vehicles of up to 3500Kg, you might want to add a higher category to your license if your van exceeds this weight.
In this read, we are lucky enough to get insight from Rebecca Ashton, IAM Roadsmarts Head of Driver Behaviour. This is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced charities, and we will be looking at the organization’s role in addition to several tips from Ashton in regard to van driving.
IAM Roadsmart is the biggest road safety charity in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1956, this organization has spent over half a century, making the nation’s road safer via driver and rider skills improvement. This is done through coaching and education, with the aim to make better riders and drivers embedded into the charity’s core.
Every IAM Roadsmart member shares this goal. Over 200 local groups, skilled experts and a network of numerous volunteers champion this cause in addition to helping drive the aim of becoming the best, most reputable coaching and advice provider for all riders and drivers. The organization aims to inspire everyone to be on their best behavior for the best riding or driving experience. Their introductory sessions, business programs, and advanced courses help develop and nurture the skills of every driving license holder.
According to Rebecca Ashton, IAM Roadsmart helps companies make their staff more skilled, confident, and more responsible while on the road. The charity provides a wide array of risk management and training programs such as seminars, on-road coaching, and e-learning. Everything this organization does is designed to meet individual driver needs, inspire confidence, make driving courses fun, and encourage improved road safety.
Tips for Driving a Van
For many sitting at a van’s driving seat tends to feel different at the beginning as the driving position isn’t the same as a car. The lack of a rearview mirror is the primary difference with most vans, but you will have the advantage of two appropriately sized mirrors on both doors. Ensure you take the time to set up your sitting position before adjusting the mirrors so that you can constantly have an ideal view of the road behind.
Knowing where all the controls are and what features your new van packs is crucial. Even merely searching for the lights while driving takes off your sight from the road for a few seconds. Even when driving at 30 miles per hour, for a mere two seconds to find the lights, you will have covered a length of about two buses without your eyes on the road.
What are the dimensions of your van?
Is it a long or conventional wheelbase? How tall is the vehicle? Will you be able to drive into car parks with a height limitation?. Knowing the height and width of your van will come in handy in situations where you are uncertain it will fit.
Loading your van. When you load the vehicle, ensure that the heavier items are on the lower level and tied down in order to avoid movements that might damage other items. This is also important as it ensures your vehicle does not destabilize suggest freezer van hire company, FridgeXpress.
When hauling dangerous goods, ensure that you have the appropriate sticker on the outside of your van. Keep in mind that brakes in vans are made for full loads and so, expect them to be sharp and very responsive when the vehicle is empty.
Have a habit of driving in a calm manner. Rushing or speeding will not necessarily get you to the destination faster, but only lead to stress and the temptation to take risks that could annoy others on the road or even put your life in danger. Before you accelerate, check the speed limit and keep in mind that vans have varying speed limits than conventional cars. In single carriageway roads, the speed limit is 50MpH and 60 Mph for a dual carriageway. These are both 10 miles per hour slower than for personal cars.
Always position your van carefully to avoid creating blind spots. Staying at 90 degrees will lend you excellent vision in both directions, which is especially vital when crossing a dual carriageway. Ideally, when making a turn, it’s advisable to position a bit wider at junctions so that you don’t clip the curb.
Lastly, you may want to make efforts to improve road safety by portraying good road behavior. If someone is hesitant, don’t lash out and start honking all over the place. Be friendly and patient as they may not be experienced and knowledgeable as you are.