Van drivers often get a bad reputation on the roads from car drivers, mainly because they have no idea how hard life in the cabin can be. Driving a van is very different to driving any other vehicle though, so if you’re new to van driving or just want to brush up a bit, here’s a guide to help you stay safe and get the most out of driving your van.
If you’re out on a work job or delivering time-sensitive supplies, it can be really tempting to put your foot down and rush to your destination. It’s true, the pressure of being in a hurry goes with the territory, but being in a rush isn’t good for your blood pressure, your judgement, or your safety. Whenever you can, leave plenty of time for your journey, including a bit extra for any hold ups or breakdowns. That way you can stay chilled on the move and ensure you’re giving yourself the best chance to get to your destination safely. You should also take precautions such as taking out comprehensive breakdown cover, and going through some basic checks such as making sure your tyres have plenty of tread, your lights all work (including indicators), and you have plenty of oil. Finally, make sure you have plenty of windscreen washer fluid and that all your mirrors are clean – then you’re ready to hit the road!
Now you’ve taken the necessary safety precautions, it’s time to hit the road! Whether you travel all over the country or take the same short journey every day, it’s worth thinking carefully about your route just before you set off. Contrary to what many drivers believe, motorways are both the quickest and safest way to get from A to B – and they’re usually incredibly well signposted both in terms of getting to them and staying en route once you have. Though if you truly have no sense of direction a Satnav is a good investment – many vans even come with them built in these days – and if you can avoid rush hour for a far more relaxed and safe journey. Once you’re out on the road it’s worth taking a second to consider your driving position. Sitting properly means comfy long-haul trips, and most importantly… no bad back! Remember to adjust your mirrors if you adjust your position, otherwise you could potentially be exposing yourself to blind spots.