If you are only used to driving small cars, the moment you get behind the wheel of a bigger vehicle like a 4×4 or a van can be an extremely daunting experience. Even if you have a lot of driving experience, you may begin to feel like a learner all over again. Of course, the fundamentals of driving remain the same and you should be able to get used to a bigger vehicle fairly quickly. Here are a few tips to make you feel more comfortable at the earliest possible opportunity.
Before You Set Off
You may be just driving the bigger vehicle on a temporary basis – perhaps you are moving home or carrying a large number of passengers. The first thing that you need to do is ensure that you have the appropriate cheap van insurance that keeps you fully covered. Once you have this peace of mind when you are out on the road, there are a few safety procedures that you need to undertake before you get driving. Adjust the driver’s seat to the correct position so you can reach the pedals with ease and make sure the mirrors give you maximum visibility. If you are driving a van, the lack of rear view mirror may be quite jarring to begin with. Familiarise yourself with all the controls before heading out.
Give yourself time to have a little bit of practice before you attempt to go rushing out onto the motorway. You may find that you need to adjust the mirrors again – something that you will only realise when you set off. If you are nearby to a car park or quiet residential area, this is the ideal place to get used to the size of the vehicle.
On the Road
The first thing that you will probably notice is that your high vantage point will give you a great view of the road in front of you. Always bear in mind that a larger vehicle takes longer to stop, so you need to be careful with your braking. Another thing that you should be aware of is that it is much more difficult to take corners smoothly.
Parking a larger vehicle may be one of the biggest challenges that you come up against, so you should always double check that you are reversing into clear space. If you have a passenger who can help guide you into the space, this will make life a lot easier. Take things as slowly as possible. This way, if you do happen to hit anything, the amount of damage that you cause will be significantly reduced.
If you are driving a van, one of the most important things to bear in mind is that speed limits are generally lower. The last thing that you need is to find yourself getting a speeding ticket. Remember: ignorance of the law is never an excuse!
So, there you have it, some simple advice to get you started when driving large vehicles for the first time.