November 21, 2019

Road Safety Week 2019: Beware when carrying heavy loads

Road safety week 2019 Vansdirect

VW vans have warned that van drivers are risking potential accidents as a result of not considering the effect of carrying heavy loads on the braking distances of their van, Vansdirect takes a closer look for Road Safety Week 2019!

Increased braking distances with heavy loads

VW vans have carried out a number of tests with their range of new vans and discovered that carrying just 500kg of equipment in the rear of the van can increase van braking distances by as much as 36%. The brake tests involved the Volkswagen Caddy, Volkswagen Transporter and Volkswagen Crafter vans carrying varying weights ranging from empty to 500kg at speeds of 30mph and 60mph.

At 30mph the braking distances on the VW vans increased on average by 33% with the 500kg load in the rear, equal to an extra two metres travelled. At 60mph carrying the 500kg load, the average increase was 19% or an extra five metres travelled.

Do you know your braking distances?

Despite these increases revealed by VW vans, a survey of van drivers revealed that in excess of 50% could not identify how much longer it would take to brake when driving a van loaded with cargo, whilst only 17% knew the 30mph stopping distances advised by the Highway Code.

VW vans director, Carl Zu Dohna commented on the important safety message behind this research, stating:

”This research highlights a lack of knowledge that could prove lethal. Braking distances in the Highway Code are based on an advised standard and don’t take into account the loads that many van drivers carry. Our research highlights an important safety message that van drivers could really benefit from. Whether they’re plumbers, landscape gardeners or construction workers, our customers regularly carry half a tonne of equipment and need to be aware they need to adjust their driving style to avoid having a costly, and potentially serious, accident.”

Director of Research at Thatcham Research, Matthew Avery commented on the important message from the Volkswagen vans research, stating:

“This is an important message from a brand which is really leading the way in commercial van safety. We would also encourage van drivers to ensure that loads are well-secured, as movement of heavy items in the rear can also effect stability and stopping distance.”

 

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