An online safety course for van drivers has been launched by driver risk management consultant Adrian Hide.

Entitled ‘Safer Van Driving’, Hide says it has been designed to address demand following an explosion in home deliveries amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to a growing number of first-time van drivers hitting the road.

He said: “As customer demand for home delivery has increased, particularly among restaurants and retail businesses, companies are under more pressure than ever to fulfil orders. 

“In my experience many drivers think because they have a car licence, they are all set to drive a van, but that’s just not the case. The handling characteristics are different in a van and it’s easy to overload it. 

“Also, an amazing number of van drivers have forgotten the basic speed limit rules. For example, on a public road the national speed limit for vans on a single carriageway is 50mph.”

The online course is said to take around 90 minutes to complete, but is modular, allowing drivers to complete it at their own pace.

Subjects covered range from pre-drive safety checks to defensive driving techniques.

Hide said: “I designed the course for first-time van drivers or those who have not had any formal van driver training, with the aim of covering all the essential elements of driving a van.

“Employers have a legal duty of care to their drivers and must ensure their delivery schedules are realistic, their vehicles are legal, and their drivers are trained so they stay safe and within the law. 

“This is why providing van driver training is vital to protect your business, its brand, its reputation and your people’s safety.”