Our top 4 safety tips for driving a minibus

Our top 4 safety tips for driving a minibus

Minibuses are particularly versatile vehicles, useful for a whole range of applications. That’s part of why they make up such a vital part of our 450-strong fleet here at Intack Self Drive! Now, the requirements for driving them can be slightly more stringent than for other vehicles, partially because they can be slightly harder to handle than smaller cars. For that reason alone, they need a little bit more care and attention when driving them – so if you’re planning to hire a minibus any time soon, here are our top tips for staying safe!

Plan your route

Planning your route is crucial when driving a minibus, since they have specific size requirements that may affect your choice of roads and parking spaces. Before starting your journey, it’s always a good idea to use reliable GPS or navigation apps designed for larger vehicles to map out your route. Look for roads with wide lanes and ample turning space to accommodate the minibus comfortably, and if you can, avoid narrow streets or areas with low bridges that could pose challenges for your vehicle's height and width. All that can ensure a smoother journey and reduces the likelihood of unexpected detours or delays.

Secure your cargo

Whether you're transporting passengers or luggage, securing your cargo is essential for both safety and comfort. Minibuses have the capacity to allow you to carry additional items such as luggage, sports gear, or equipment for events, so before you set off, take care to secure all loose items using cargo nets, straps, or designated storage compartments to prevent them from shifting during the journey.

The main thing is to distribute weight evenly throughout the minibus so you can be sure of maintaining balance and stability, especially when navigating corners or making sudden stops. Obviously, you’ll need to avoid overloading the minibus beyond its recommended capacity to ensure what’s known in the business as “optimal handling and braking performance” – in other words, making sure you can keep the vehicle under control properly.

Drive defensively

Defensive driving is key to ensuring the safety of everyone on board a minibus – just as it is on every vehicle. Now, when we say defensively, we’re not talking a Death Race 2000 sort of scenario – essentially, it just means anticipating the road ahead and making sure you give yourself the space to react in good time. It’s the polar opposite to driving aggressively – speeding ahead, tailgating, you know the kind of thing.

Now, unlike smaller vehicles, minibuses have longer braking distances and may require more time to manoeuvre, especially when fully loaded. So to minimise the chances of a crash, make sure to maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles to give yourself time to properly react in case of sudden stops or unexpected hazards.

As we’ve covered above, you’ll need to anticipate potential risks on the road, such as unpredictable weather conditions or construction zones, and adjust your driving accordingly. And obviously, don’t get tempted by distractions while driving, such as using mobile phones or adjusting in-vehicle entertainment systems, to maintain focus on the road and surroundings.

Take breaks

Long journeys in a minibus can be physically and mentally demanding, and that’s especially true when you’re driving something as heavy as a minibus. For that reason alone, it’s a good idea to schedule regular breaks to rest and refresh yourself, especially during extended trips. UK roads have no shortage of designated rest areas or service stations to stretch your legs, use restroom facilities, and rehydrate.

It’s worth noting how many people can underestimate the importance of being well rested. Research from Brake, the road safety charity, suggests that driving tired can be just as bad as driving drunk, because it has a similar effect of dulling your reaction times.

Those are just our top tips! If you’re reading this, you’re likely already an experienced driver, so you won’t need us to go too much into the minutiae of good general driving practices. So instead, we’ll focus on what we do best – and that’s providing you with the very prices on car hire and minibus hire. Our extensive fleet comprises of more than 450 vehicles, including cars, vans, and minibuses.

We offer both Flexi hire and daily hire options, so you can rent the vehicle for as long or as little as you need! Feel free to contact us at 01254 57811, and we’re always happy to help you in any way we can!

Posted in Company news on