In the busy courier industry, owner driver jobs can present many unforeseen challenges, and one of these is city driving. Navigating the grid-locked streets is difficult enough in a regular-sized car, but in delivery vans the task is made even trickier. |
Here are a few tips on how to drive safely through cities when you’re a delivery driver.
• Inspect Your Van
Making sure your vehicle is completely safe to drive is the first important step. Before you leave for the day, make sure everything in the van is in full working order: check the lights, brakes, tyres and anything else you can think of. It may seem tedious, but you can almost guarantee that the one time you choose not to check will be the time your van breaks down…
• Plan Ahead
City streets are notoriously busy and frustrating to navigate, so it’s important to make yourself a schedule (factoring in potential delays) to make sure all of your deliveries can be done on time. Knowing how to avoid the traffic is the key to making efficient deliveries in the city. Many GPS devices are now able to give real-time updates on traffic congestion so it’s a great idea to invest in one with that capability.
• Stay Calm
There are few things worse than road-rage; becoming stressed and agitated while you’re driving can have a terribly negative impact on the rest of your day, meaning you are unlikely to make safe and rational decisions. This could have a knock-on effect on your career. Unsatisfied customers are never hesitant to leave a bad review, which may get back to your clients. Keep out of trouble and just accept any traffic congestion as part of the challenge.
• Keep it Slow
While completing owner driver jobs and trying to keep a schedule, it’s oh-so-tempting to speed up as soon as traffic clears to make up for lost time – but this is also extremely dangerous. Keeping your driving relaxed and at a steady, monitored speed is the safest way to get to your destination and will no doubt make you feel calmer in yourself. You should also try to stick to one lane rather than zipping between other cars; this will hugely reduce the potential risk of an accident, as you’ll be less likely to collide with other moving vehicles when you’re not moving between lanes.
• Look Ahead
Making sure you stay alert and continuously look ahead on the road is a very important tip for city driving. So many things can be going on at once, so it’s vital that you keep your eyes focussed at all times. In particular, look out for pedestrians, taxis stopping to pick up or drop off passengers, slow cars and accidents. The sooner you see the threat, the sooner you can brake to avoid it.
Whether you’re been driving for 20 years or you’re just starting out, doing owner driver jobs in the city will always present challenges. Hopefully these tips will have you feeling much more at ease the next time you’re faced with one.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.
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