If there’s space in your van, you’re likely to fill it - are we right? Well, it may be worth stopping and thinking before placing that extra ladder on the roof rack or placing another mechanical tool in the back, because a new study has found 9 in 10 vans are overloaded.
Last year the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) weighed 2,381 vans and found almost 9 in 10 (88.5%) were illegally overloaded. This is worse than the previous year’s figures of 84%.
Every commercial vehicle is given load guidelines which dictate the amount of weight the vehicle can handle carrying at any given time. The immediate issues that arise when exceeding these limits are tyre bulge, which can result in tyres heating up more quickly and bursting, suspension strain, steering problems and less effective breaks to name just a few.
Other problems may also occur if your vehicle is fitted with advanced safety technology. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed that the performance of advanced collision warning systems and autonomous emergency braking may be compromised when carrying excess weight.
Gordon Macdonald, DVSA Compliance Service Manager, said:
“Overloading continues to be a real issue on our roads, and drivers and businesses need to carefully consider their legal responsibility towards vehicle weight compliance, so we fully support the SMMT’s latest important van safety message.”
It’s also important to consider overloading in respect of your insurance. If you’re proven to have overloaded your vehicle before getting into an accident, you may not receive the cover you would have expected otherwise.
If you’re unaware of the legal weight load of your vehicle, search online specs by make and model online or contact the DVSA for further information.
If you’ve bought a new vehicle or your insurance is due for renewal, compare cover quotes online here.
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