Tips for Better Visibility in a Handicap-Accessible Van
If you’re not used to driving a van, it can be challenging to maneuver. Piloting a full-size van or minivan is much different than driving a sedan or crossover. Its square body, tall height, and massive size make navigating through crowded parking lots and tight side streets challenging.
To make driving safer and easier, here are some ways to improve visibility in a handicap-accessible van.
Essential ways to maximize visibility in a handicap-accessible van
Minimize your blind spots
A van has much larger blind spots than the average vehicle, and they can be even harder to see around if you have limited flexibility to crane your neck. Compensate for this by attaching aftermarket blind spot reflectors to the van’s side mirrors.
To ensure the side mirrors are pointed properly, have someone walk around the sides of the van while it’s parked. When you don’t see them in the mirror anymore, adjust its position until they reappear.
Also adjust your rearview mirror and seat to find the best position.
Use a backup camera
All brand-new vehicles come with backup cameras, but if the conversion van you’re driving is an older model that didn’t come with one, you should install one. It’s practically impossible to see the entire area behind your van using just the rearview mirror, so purchase a wireless model for about $100 and have someone install it for you. It’s a worthwhile investment to improve visibility in a handicap-accessible van.
Keep the dashboard uncluttered
It’s tempting to toss odds and ends onto the dashboard to keep them close by or when you’re done using them. But junk can quickly pile up across the dashboard, which is not just a driving hazard but a visibility obstruction, too.
Because of your tall ride height, you might not be able to see immediately in front bumper, and that blind spot can grow with piles of stuff obscuring the lower windshield. Find a different way to stash stuff nearby so it’s still within reach but isn’t blocking your visibility.
Know your dimensions
Even if you can see out of the side mirrors, their shape and reflections can play tricks on you. What looks far away may be closer than it appears. To address this, familiarize yourself with the dimensions of the vehicle in a safe place, like an empty parking lot. Practice turning, backing up, and changing lanes to see how much space you actually take up.
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