Living in Britain tends to mean one thing – rain. Therefore it is essential that you know how to drive your van safely. Many people may be used to inclement weather when driving a car, but it is important to take extra care whilst driving your van. The van is a bigger vehicle with more weight, width and most importantly, the capability to do more damage. Take a look at our tips for driving your van in rainy conditions.
Check The Vehicle
Before you even set off in your van, you need to check that all the key elements of the van are working. Check things such as lights, water level, wipers, heating and battery strength. If you neglect these essential areas, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage before you even set off on your journey.
These checks should be done in addition to the general checks you would do when using any vehicle including your mirrors, tyres and seat position.
It might have been a while since you learned your stopping distances, but even if you know what the stopping distance is for your car, that doesn’t mean you know for a van. Rainy weather can impact greatly on stopping distances and the heavier the vehicle the more distance you need to come to a safe stop.
Here are the stopping distances for a van in dry weather – for rain or snow you should double the distance at the very least, for ice, double it again.
- 20mph – 12 metres to stop
- 30mph – 23 metres to stop
- 40mph – 36 metres to stop
- 50mph – 53 metres to stop
- 60mph – 73 metres to stop
- 70mph – 96 metres to stop
Keep A Clear View
Your vision out on the roads will no doubt be impaired by the rain and any spray which is being kicked up by other vehicles. For this reason, you should ensure your wipers are working and that you have plenty of water for wiper fluid.
Take control of the situation by backing off from other vehicles if you feel your vision is disrupted. This way you will be able to see better and you’ll give yourself more stopping distance.
Following on from the previous point, you’re far less likely to be involved in an accident if you take your time. Rushing around to meet deadlines when you know the weather is poor can lead to you taking risks you wouldn’t ordinarily take.