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Car tips & advice | 05.05.2014 - 20:03

Driving a Truck or Van? Five Safety Tips for Handling a Large Vehicle

It is often necessary to take extra precautions when handling a large vehicle.

Driving a large vehicle can be particularly stress-inducing if handled improperly. In comparison to driving a smaller car, it is necessary to take extra precautions when handling a large vehicle, in order to feel as safe and secure as possible.


Be Aware of Blind Spots

One of the main problems that drivers of large vehicles face are blind spots. Blind spots are often called "no zone" areas. These areas are locations nearby a vehicle that the driver cannot see when operating the vehicle in question. There are four basic blind spots, which are located on the sides and directly in the front and back of a vehicle. Being unable to identify any cars within these areas can make for harrowing incidents when changing lanes. To safeguard against this, it's recommended that you buy specialized blind spot mirrors. Although these mirrors won't eliminate blind spots completely, they do help to widen a driver's range of vision.


Control Your Speed

Controlling your speed is a necessary precaution that will allow drivers to be safer when handling a large vehicle. There are several situations in which drivers should slow down when faced with, such as going around curves, during moments of low visibility, heavy traffic and traveling down hills.


Usage of High Beams

Driving a large vehicle at night requires the proper usage of headlights due to low visibility. It's possible to switch between low and high beam lights while driving, though recommended to use high beams as often as possible, as high beams allow the driver to see further distances ahead of them. Overall, high beams allow drivers to see up to 500 feet in front of the vehicle, while low beams only reach 250 feet of visibility.


Adverse Driving Conditions

Bad weather can result in dangerous driving conditions, which is why all large vehicle drivers need to reduce speeds by one-third on wet roads and one-half on snow-impacted roads.


Don't Drive When Tired

Whenever driving a large vehicle, it's important to take regular breaks or short naps if you're feeling drowsy. If not taken care of promptly, drowsiness can result in the driver becoming unfocused and reckless.


Although it's impossible to prepare for every situation you may encounter when driving a large vehicle, following these safety tips can lessen the possibility of being involved in an accident that hurts not only yourself, but others. If you're not used to driving a large vehicle, like a pickup truck or long distance moving van, take a day or so to practice maneuvering the vehicle and identifying your blind spots before you hit the open road.



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