50% of Van Drivers are Unknowingly Overloading
New research commissioned by Volkswagen has shown that nearly 50% of van drivers, equating to over 1.2 million vehicles, are unknowingly driving uninsured in the UK by simply overloading their vans.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is working alongside the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to educate van drivers about the potential dangers of driving overloaded vehicles
Overloading a van can:-
- make it less stable
- more difficult to steer
- more likely to overturn
- increase breaking distance
- cause excessive wear on tyres, breaks and suspension
Last year, the DVSA stopped over 10,800 vans on UK roads and found 89% of them were overloaded.
The Research, which surveyed both fleet managers and van drivers, found that nearly half of UK businesses don’t monitor the weights of their company vehicles, and 53% of drivers don’t know their vehicle’s maximum load carrying capacity.
Besides invalidating a vehicle’s insurance, there are penalties for driving overloading vehicles including fines, point on the driver’s licence, immobilisation of the vehicle and in severe cases a court summons.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has also created a simple online guide, to provide information on vehicle payloads, how to load a van and the locations of public weighbridges.
To avoid overloading drivers should:-
- Know the weight limit of their vehicle. The maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) includes the weight of the vehicle, driver, load and any passengers. The GVW should never be exceeded. The GVW can be found in the driver's manual.
- Know the payload capacity of their vehicle. Payload capacity is different to GVW. Payload is the maximum weight of the van's cargo. This can also be found in the driver's manual.
- Allow for the weights of any pallets, packing cases and anything on a roof rack to be included in the payload.
- Evenly distribute the load within the van and secure it firmly.