If you are driving a van for the first time or perhaps drive a van infrequently there are many differences to driving a car which you should be aware of and remember. The following safety tips provide practical van driving advice to ensure your journey is safe for yourself, others passengers and pedestrians. Before You Start The Journey When you pick up your van from the rental station listen carefully to the advice and explanations regarding general operation.

  • Ensure you know where all controls are and how to use them, if you are unsure ask.
  • Wear sensible footwear that allows the correct use the pedal controls.
  • Adjust the rear view and exterior wing mirrors to provide maximum vision.
  • Adjust head restraints and seats for both comfort and safety.
  • You MUST wear a seat belt if one is available, unless you are exempt.
  • Before driving on the road, make sure the rear or side cargo doors are locked securely.
  • Become familiar and comfortable with the size and responsiveness of the van by initially driving in an area with little traffic.

Van Driving Advice

  • Be in complete control of your vehicle at all times, losing control means not being able to stop or move your van in a safe manner.
  • Be aware of the size of the van you are driving, particularly the height.
  • Take extra caution when approaching bridges and canopies and when driving under overhanging trees.
  • Some petrol stations may not cater for the size of your vehicle.
  • Large vehicles need extra room to turn, take this into consideration when approaching a tight corner.
  • Also bear in mind the length of the van and the position of the rear of the vehicle when manoeuvring.
  • Make use of the increased visibility from a higher driving position and remember to use your exterior mirrors more often.
  • Take tight bends slowly as tall vans can tip more easily due to their height and increased centre of gravity.
  • Control your speed and never follow other vehicles too closely, vans require a much longer braking distance especially when travelling at speed, carrying a heavy load or in wet or icy weather conditions.
  • Pay extra attention when reversing or parking and only attempt to do so if you are confident or when it's necessary.
  • Ask for another person to guide you if your van has blind spots.
  • Be extra careful when changing lanes, the van you are driving may have blind spots. Pay particular attention for motor cyclists.
  • Take a little extra time and care when driving an unfamiliar vehicle.