Full-Size Vans: What You Need To Know To Arrive Safely Page 2

July 8, 2009

2004 Chevrolet Express 3500

Take frequent breaks. Don't let a drowsy driver take the wheel. Change drivers often, but never let a driver who has just napped get behind the wheel without time to wake up. Also, don't think you can drive through the night just because there are several drivers. If a driver falls asleep for just a moment, the action of jerking the steering wheel to get back on the road might be enough to start a rollover accident. Split a few hotel rooms, or pull over to sleep—it could save your life.

Require everyone to wear seatbelts.
Even when they're sleeping—no exceptions! It dramatically increases your chances of survival; according to federal accident statistics, up to 80 percent of those who die in single vehicle rollovers aren't buckled up. Don’t underestimate the protection of a simple lap belt.

Check the tire pressures frequently.  Underinflation increases the chances of a rollover in an abrupt maneuver, but don't overinflate the tires to compensate. Make sure you know what the maximum recommended pressure is, either from the owner's manual, the doorsill sticker, or your fleet administrator.

Get properly trained. Be aware that driving a loaded full-size van is nothing like driving an ordinary sedan or compact car. There's generally nothing defective with these vehicles; users just need to be familiar with the dos and don'ts of how they should be loaded and driven. Although these vans designated to transport fifteen or less passengers don't require a special license, it's strongly recommended that drivers take training courses for these vehicles. Check with a local driver-training school or commercial driver school if your school, church, or rental agency doesn’t offer training.

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