Van, Truck, Trailer, Bus and Coach Aftermarket News in Ireland

Some key differences between driving vans and cars

Drivers interchanging between between driving cars and vans are warned to pay heed to the differences in being behind the wheel in both.

Ensuring drivers are used to the width and turning circles of the vehicle will also help ensure any potential accidents are avoided.

A spokesperson from said: “It’s very easy when you’re used to driving a car to just jump into a van and think that everything is the same. However, this isn’t the case”.

They are different in a number of ways, with safety measures and the way the vehicle is built being the key variations in many instance.

1 Rear view mirror
Vans aren’t fitted with a rear-view window or mirror, making it even more important to check wing mirrors when undertaking manoeuvres such as reversing. Wing mirrors are often fitted with two mirrors, one with the same function as a cars wing mirror and another to act as a rear-view mirror.

2. Bridge and barriers
Most vans are often wider than cars, meaning that more care needs to be taken when it comes to signs stating the width of a barrier or tunnel, or the maximum load a bridge can take. The dimensions of your van should be easy to find in the vehicle’s manual.

3. Turning circle
Vans have a much larger turning circle than that of cars, so make sure you leave more space when attempting manoeuvres such as a three-point turns. Even turning a corner could need you to take a longer line. If you’re getting used to your van, take it to a quiet area such as a big supermarket car park at night to get used to the van.

4. Loading
If you plan on carrying lots of tools in the back of your van, or transporting big heavy objects, ensure it’s loaded correctly. Vans are at higher risk of becoming destabilised than cars, so ensure that heavier items are at the bottom of the vehicle. They should also be tied down so that if there is any movement internal damage won’t occur.