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Stay Calm Behind The Wheel

For many van and commercial vehicle drivers the current economic downturn has stretched their finances to breaking point so it is absolutely vital to not lose any discounts that they currently have.

This was highlighted recently by one leading motoring group who said that keeping calm behind the wheel would help keep no claims bonuses in tact rather than risk an accident claim.

Commercial and fleet drivers, because of the sheer number of miles that they drive every week, are most at risk of encountering highly stressful situations on the road that will severely test their patience.

Amongst the many problems that can be found on the roads, tailbacks and roadworks are often high on the list but another menace, which is more likely to result in a van insurance [] claim, is the behaviour of less responsible drivers.

Keep your calm

Many surveys conducted on motorists and van drivers over the years have consistently shown that large numbers of drivers find tailgating by other road user's one of the most annoying driving experiences.

Along with other modern foibles such as texting or using a mobile phone behind the wheel, tailgating is potentially lethal for both the tailgater and the person unfortunate enough to be in front.

A recent poll by Autocar magazine found that over one-third of British drivers thought that tailgating was the most irritating road habit, over twice the number that said speeding or using a phone.

With such large numbers of people being upset by this practise it is important that the driver takes whatever steps possible to avoid getting in to an accident because of the irresponsible behaviour of the other driver.

"This survey shows that British motorists want something to be done about the poor driving we see every day on the country's roads. We want the driving test to include motorway driving and lane discipline.

Some skills not learned

Too many new drivers pass their test without ever having driven on a motorway and it shows in the lack of awareness obvious on the UK's roads," said Chas Hallett from Autocar.

Van drivers who travel large distances each day, often in the hundreds of miles, are particularly susceptible to becoming enraged by others bad behaviour due to tiredness or road fatigue but there are steps that can be taken to avoid danger.

Pulling over into another lane whenever possible is the best way of avoiding confrontation or even pulling over into a safe spot by the side of the road on country roads, where there is no other lane available.

According to the Institute of Advanced Motorists, (IAM) drivers who attempt to duel the tailgating driver by driving deliberately slowly or slamming on the brakes is more likely to become an accident victim because they are spending more time concentrating on the vehicle behind rather than on the road ahead and on other dangers.

"Find the earliest opportunity to change lanes in safety and allow the tailgater to get past you and become somebody else's problem" said a spokesman for the IAM.

Hallet added: "Poor driving causes the vast majority of accidents and tailgating is the cause of many collisions. Tailgaters need to remember the danger they put other road users in."

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