Advice For Driving A Van Safely At NightJuly 27, 2015
There are over 40,000 incidents on the roads in the UK between 7pm and 6am each year, accounting for 40% of all incidents annually and ranging from the fatal to those with minor injuries. Once the sun has gone down there is no doubt that conditions become trickier, requiring more attention to how you’re driving. In this article we’ll provide you with some handy tips on how you can ensure you’re driving your van safely at night.
Light The Way
Let’s start with the most obvious thing of all: you need your lights on when the sun starts to go down. It all depends on the position of the sun, and while you might still get the odd bit of glare from a setting sun you’re bound to drive through areas where the sun’s light can’t reach.
You can use full beam lights where the road is pitch black and there is no additional street lighting provided, just ensure you turn them off when you see any other road user, pedestrian or cyclist as it could dazzle them and cause an accident.
Slow Your Speed
Speed kills no matter what time of day it is, but when your visibility is reduced you need to give yourself more time to react to hazards. By slowing down when the light dies out you allow for better control of your vehicle which is especially important if you’re hiring a van and aren’t quite as well versed in handling the vehicle. Hills and dips require extra caution, don’t be put off by high-speed limits if you feel you need more time in reduced visibility at night.
Take A Break
If you’re driving a van it probably means you’re going some distance to move something, but you shouldn’t put yourself under strain in doing so. If you’re driving a van at night make sure you take regular breaks to have food and drink as well as visiting the toilet. This can prevent you from falling asleep at the wheel – something which nearly always ends in tragedy – and keeps your mind focused on your driving.
On Your Guard
Driving at night on country roads can bring the unique hazard of animals crossing the road. Usually deer or foxes but sometimes smaller animals, they can dart out from nowhere and cause you to swerve if you’re unprepared or not fully in control of the vehicle, so keep your mind focused and be on your guard for animals which might well dart out in front of your van without notice.
These tips give you a general overview of driving a van at night time but remember that the rules you adhere to in the day also apply here – especially things such as seat belts and mirror checking. For more general tips on driving a van – particularly if it’s your first time – then take a look at this article.
If you’d like to learn more about hiring a van of any size then contact us at I-Drive Van Hire today and we’ll be happy to help. Whether you’re moving home, conducting business or collecting an item from elsewhere, we have the right van to suit your needs.
i-Drive Van Hire are based in Nottingham but operate in West Bridgford and the surrounding areas.