Driving a van is not necessarily more difficult, but a different driving experience. A van will be slightly different from a car since it is a larger vehicle with a different build. You will need to learn a few driving skills, but that’s where the difficulty ends when driving a van instead of a car.
But anyone can drive a van and become a very safe and confident van driver with just a little extra practice. Just like any new vehicle requires when you first start to drive it.
Driving a van may seem very intimidating by looking at the size of the vehicle, but it is really quite easy. Every different kind of vehicle will be slightly different to drive, but they all work in much the same way.
A van may require a few extra driving skills, but once you master them, it will be very easy to drive with ease and confidence.
Driving a Van is Not Difficult
As far as vehicles go, driving a van is not much more difficult than driving a car. It may be different and require some getting used to, but in general, a van is very similar to driving a car.
Many people might find themselves feeling intimidated by the idea of driving a van, but there is really no reason to be. Though it is a larger vehicle, a van still drives similarly to a car and is navigated in much the same way.
Even new drivers can try their hand at driving a van as it is still beginner-friendly. A car might be the most common vehicle, but vans are just as great in their own way.
If you want to buy a van, you shouldn’t let your worries stop you as many are very easy to drive. Modern vans are exceptionally easy to drive and require the same skills that any other vehicle does.
A van is also a great way to get used to driving a larger vehicle that is still simple to navigate. This is what makes it a beginner-friendly vehicle, as it is not overly complicated to drive.
Driving a Van Requires A Few Extra Driving Skills
Though a van is still very simple to drive even if you don’t have any experience with one, it does require some additional skills.
Like any vehicle, a van has its own uniqueness that will require you to learn how to drive it properly. It isn’t overly complicated, but it may take some practice to get used to it and feel comfortable driving.
Because a van is a larger vehicle, you will have to drive it a bit differently to manage the size. This is pretty simple once you get the hang of it, but it will take some getting used to at first.
Larger vehicles require more concentration and steering in order to get them to go where you want them to. You may also have to stay more aware of your surroundings and other vehicles on the road.
You may have to change how you drive just a bit to accommodate the difference between driving a van. As safety will require you to learn how to drive a van in a way that will keep you and everyone else on the road safe.
You Have to Be More Aware When Driving a Van
When you start to drive a van, especially as a beginner, it is important to be very aware as you are driving. This is probably the most important safety tip for driving a vehicle the size of a van.
This is necessary to stay safe as a larger vehicle takes up more space and can do much more damage than a vehicle like a car can.
This is especially important as a new van driver as you need to get used to the feel of driving a van. As well as the necessary changes that you will have to make to how you handle driving.
Here are a few specific things you will want to become more aware of once you start driving a van. These are all details that will help you to drive better and become more confident in your new vehicle.
Vans Have Larger Blind Spots
Blind spots are a big deal when it comes to driving a larger vehicle like a van. This is because larger vehicles have larger blind spots due to their size.
This is something that you will need to be aware of and remember as you drive since blind spots can be dangerous.
Make sure that your van has high-quality mirrors that can help you to better see your blind spots. And make sure to be actively checking them as you are driving to be safe.
It can be very easy for a small vehicle or bicycle to hide out in your blind spot without you knowing. This can be very dangerous and can cause an accident if you don’t stay on your toes.
Just keep your blind spots in mind, and you should be perfectly fine and safe as you drive.
Learn to Be Aware of Its Length and Height
The length and height of your van are also something that you should take into consideration. These two measurements can easily dictate certain ways you can drive to remain safe and responsible.
The length of your van matters because this can change how you drive in certain situations. Specifically when you are taking turns and need to be aware of how long the van is.
Vans typically need to take turns rather slowly, even if they aren’t sharp turns. This is because vans are longer and need to navigate around a turn rather than speed through it.
It is also a safety concern as you do not want to bump into any other vehicles as you are turning. Something that is a possibility if you are not fully aware of the length of your van or the distance of other vehicles.
You will also want to keep the height of your vehicle in mind as this can be very important, especially when driving under things. This also applies to drive-in car washes and driving into a garage.
It is a good idea to memorize or write down your van height to know just what your van can fit under. If you misjudge the height, you could end up really damaging your vehicle by accident.
Their Weight Makes Them Slower to Stop
The weight of a van is also going to be considerably heavier than that of a car because of size reasons. A van is also built more sturdily to withstand heavier amounts of hauling, cargo, or more passengers.
This can make the feel of driving a van considerably different as you are steering a much heavier vehicle. It also has a pretty significant impact on the brakes.
Because a van is heavier, it will make the brakes work much harder to do their job. This will often result in a slight delay once you press the brake pedal.
Because of this delay, you will want to make sure you stay aware of what is going on around you. Since your vehicle will not stop as quickly, you need to give yourself plenty of time.
This is very important and can help you prevent getting into an accident as well as causing damage to your brakes.
They Are Larger to Park and Have Blind Spots
Parking a van is going to be pretty different than parking a car for size reasons. This is especially true as many parking lots are designed more for cars, and the parking spots can sometimes be narrow.
Though a normal size van should be able to comfortably fit in these spots, it can be intimidating to park such a large vehicle.
You will need to be aware of the size of the van as well as your blind spots, making sure to not get too close to nearby vehicles. If you are concerned about doing this, it is best if you park away from other vehicles until you are more comfortable.
Parallel parking can also be more difficult as your van will be longer and be harder to navigate into a small area. You can practice this before going out or try to avoid having to do it all together.
If you do need to parallel park, always look for the longest spot to give yourself plenty of wiggle room.
Driving a Van is Different Than Driving a Car
Despite the fact that driving a van is not overly complicated, it is going to be significantly different than driving a car. This will also depend on the type of van you get, as some will be more different than others.
You don’t need to be intimidated by the thought of driving a van, but you do need to be aware that it will be different. A van is not going to necessarily feel like a car when you are driving it.
A van is a different kind of vehicle and is designed differently, this will make it act differently on the road and feel differently.
In a van, you might experience a bit more resistance as it is a heavier vehicle that doesn’t always want to go where you want it to go. It may require more concentration and a sturdier grip on the steering wheel to control.
Vans are also going to be a little trickier to navigate as they are wider and longer than your ordinary car. This will take some getting used to as well as some practice on your part before it starts to feel natural.
No matter how different a vehicle feels when you are driving it, it only takes a little time and practice before you get the hang of it. So driving a van is nothing to worry over as long as you give yourself time to get used to it.
A van will feel just as easy as driving a car once you have done it a few times and feel more confident.
To Drive a Van You Need Practice
Like we talked about above, to drive a van comfortably without worrying over how different it feels, you have to practice it. Practice makes perfect after all.
Driving a van is not going to immediately feel natural for most, and it will take time to get used to. You have to allow yourself to adjust to the difference that a van has from other types of vehicles.
This may require you to take some time to practice in your van. This could be done in an empty parking lot or a large driveway, which is a great way to get familiar with how your van feels and drives.
If you do not feel confident driving a van and don’t understand exactly how it works, practice is going to be key. The last thing that you want to do is go out onto the road feeling uncertain about your driving skills.
It can be unsafe to head out knowing that you aren’t comfortable driving your van, the responsibility of all drivers is to know what they are doing behind the wheel.
Even just an hour or two of practice driving can significantly help you feel more at ease and confident in your abilities.
Once you have driven a van a few times, you will be able to see just how easy it really is and that it is nothing to worry about.
Anyone Can Drive a Van
Despite popular belief, anyone can drive a van as long as you have a driver’s license that is legal. Vans are not select vehicles that only certain people can own and drive.
Commercial semi-trucks require specific things in order to drive one, strictly because they are so large and require a skilled driver. Your ordinary, everyday van is available for anyone to drive if they want to without any special skills.
You do not have to have had previous experience driving a van to buy one, the option is always open regardless.
The only limitation is that you have to possess either a class B or class D driver’s license, two very common driver’s licenses that are given out. There are other licenses that allow you to drive a van, but they require special certifications.
The age requirement for most states within the US also requires you to be 17 years of age to drive a van. This isn’t a big deal as most places don’t give a driver’s license to someone below 17, but it will differ from place to place.
There is also no age limit on who can drive a van, as long as you are at least 17, you can drive a van if you so choose.
There are very few limits, if any at all, on who can operate and drive a van or even buy one. If you are interested in buying a van, you can go ahead and get the vehicle that you want to drive.
Pros and Cons of Driving a Van
Like driving any model of vehicle, there are going to be some pretty significant pros and cons to consider. This is part of the reality of buying a vehicle, no matter what kind it is.
Before you decide that you want to own and drive a van, you will need to consider these downsides and benefits. They will help you to better decide if owning a van is right for you.
- Vans are larger and can hold more things or people, this makes them more useful if you need to move items or carry a group of passengers.
- They are good for hauling certain types of things behind your vehicle. This is something that a car cannot do, giving you more options when you drive a van. Even a small van can haul small items like a car, small u-haul, or small boat.
- Vans give you better accident safety as you are often higher up, and a van is built with more outward strength.
- A van is vulnerable to tipping or rolling over as it is taller than many other vehicles. This can put you in danger of rolling if you get into an accident or lose control of the vehicle.
- Vans are bulky and can be difficult to get around corners or park in small parking spots. This can be hard to adjust to for a beginner driver.
- Vans have large blind spots that can be dangerous if you don’t pay attention to them. These blind spots can hide other vehicles or people that are beside you.
- Braking on a van is very different as it has a delayed response, and you will have to brake much sooner. This can cause accidents if you do not remain aware of it and stay alert to your surroundings.