One of the biggest complaints about van drivers is the distance in which they follow the car ahead of them - often tailgating even at high speeds. While the shorter front end of a typical van allows for a much better perception of the vehicle, the question has to be raised - why are stopping distances being ignored?
Knowing Your Distances
This isn’t just a vital part of your driving test, stopping distances are instrumental for safe driving on a day-to-day basis. You need to take into account both thinking distance and braking distance, as well as recognising that these lengths increase as your speed increases. Certain vehicles will brake dramatically faster than others, however thinking time will remain the same - this is why keeping your distance is extremely important if you regularly change vehicles, as you don’t know how it would perform in an emergency stop.
Another massively important thing to consider when driving a van is load weight. The heavier the load, the longer it will take for the vehicle to come to a complete stop. When driving a fully laden van, always leave extra room to accommodate for the change in vehicle response time.
With modern technology increasing, there are many devices available that warn you when you’re following a vehicle too closely. However, should this really be down to technology to alert us to this fact, or should drivers start taking a much more proactive approach to keeping stopping distances in check?
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