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Van driving is something many of us take for granted without ever thinking about the potential consequences of driving one unsafely. That reality was played out last September when a van towing a horsebox made a U-turn manoeuvre on a dual carriageway in North Yorkshire. The result was a horrific accident resulting in serious injuries to a motorcyclist.

The Northern Echo recently reported on both the accident and the sentencing of the van driver, stating that the driver received a suspended 14-month prison sentence and 240 hours of community service. The driver also will not be allowed back on the roads for 21 months.

During the court proceedings, the judge ruled the manoeuvre made by the van driver constituted a serious error in judgement and demonstrated the driver acted without regard to other vehicles on the road. In his defence, the driver stated he had made a split-second decision, which, while it was a serious error, was based on the fact that he did not see the motorcycle.

After the accident, the driver stood in shock while the injured man lay helplessly on the ground. Other drivers who stopped to help ended up giving aid and comfort to him. Unfortunately, the victim suffered serious injuries to his head, eyes, legs, and back and will likely suffer pain for the rest of his life. Although he did survive, he is not likely to ever forget the accident.

Training Is Essential

The driver in this case admitted to the court that he was practising dangerous driving. That’s unfortunate because van driving does not have to be so risky. Proper training is available to anyone who drives a van, whether professionally or personally – training that can also include towing horseboxes and other trailers.

Although training may not have prevented the driver from making a poor decision, it likely would have caused him to think twice before making the U-turn manoeuvre. When a driver undergoes intense training, he (or she) is taught to think twice before making any move apart from what’s considered normal. He is trained to consciously pay attention and to be extremely cautious.

When it comes to something like a van and horsebox combination, proper training is even more critical. Controlling a horsebox is difficult under good conditions, but trying to safely turn around on a dual carriage way is nearly impossible. It takes time to turn the vehicle; time you just do not have on such a busy roadway.

The HGV Training Centre offers both horsebox and van driving training to individuals and companies alike. We pride ourselves on offering proven training that more than prepares our drivers to pass their tests and operate safely on the roads.

In addition to horseboxes and vans, we also provide training for LGVs, PCVs, heavy construction equipment, and forklift trucks. At more than 45 facilities around the country, our dedicated and professional staff is fully committed to ensuring your success. Please get in touch with us right away if you need van driving or other training.


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