Car drivers are often the first people to give their van driving mates a difficult time on the road, primarily because they have no clue how challenging life in the cabin can get.
The more distances you travel, the higher the chances that you’ll get involved in a crash, and considering how van drivers spend most of their lives behind the wheel to make a living, here are top tips to help keep you safe.
1. Don’t rush
Part of being a van driver is the pressure of meeting deadlines, which often means that you’ll be in a hurry to arrive at your destination. However, being in a hurry doesn’t board well for your judgment or blood pressure. Leave plenty of wiggle room for your journey when you can, including some extra time for breakdowns or hold-ups. This way, you’ll be able to remain chilled on the road while everybody is ripping their hair out!
2. Safety essentials
Most people hate doing it, but getting a little dirty under the bonnet before embarking on a journey is essential to ensure safety while on the road. Make sure you’ve checked oil, lights, tires, fuel, and water before starting your journey. Ensure that the washer bottle of your windscreen is full (in adverse weather conditions, you can be fined a penalty if you are found with an empty washer bottle). Also, make sure that your mirrors and windows are clean.
3. Driving position
We aren’t referring to placing your arm on the window frame or shouting at unruly cyclists: having the right driving position is crucial for a variety of reasons. First of all, sitting properly means comfortable long-haul journeys, and most importantly, good luck! Also, the right driving position means that you’ll have proper mirror adjustment, so ensure that you’ve taken a minute to optimize your peripheral field before starting your trip.
4. Plan your route
Regardless if you use the same short route each day or travel across the country; all in all, planning your route is important. Using motorways assures that you’ll get from point A to B quickly and safely, and if you’re poor at map reading, think about using a SatNav. Additionally, choosing the time you travel can help. Whenever possible, try avoiding school runs and rush hours.
5. Heavy loads
It’s easy picking up the load, loading it up in the van’s back, and setting it off to its destination. However, taking the time to load your van correctly can make a world of difference. Suitably, the load should be placed as low as possible at the center of the wheelbase. Also, be careful when lifting the load to not put a strain on your back muscles.
6. Be prepared
Before beginning your trip, some essentials are a must-have onboard. Ensure that your van has a wheel brace, jack, and spare wheel. Make sure your breakdown cover is updated, and you have a charged phone nearby (never to be used while driving, obviously). A first aid kit, high-vis vest, and torch also come in handy.
7. Stay awake
When you’re tired, you shouldn't think about driving. Make sure that you’ve gotten a good night’s rest before setting off for a long journey or long day.
When you’re feeling tired while driving:
Roll down or open the window to get some air on your face; And at your earliest convenience, pull over to rest.
8. If the worst happens