Great advice for when driving a minibus

Driving a minibus is very different to driving a car. There may be up to 16 other people in the vehicle that you are responsible for. And you don’t want to be making any avoidable claims on your minibus insurance. This article outlines some of the legal requirements and safe driving practices required when using a minibus. Passenger safety is very important for a minibus driver. Ask everyone to fasten their seat belts. It is now law for seat belts to be used at all times by the driver and passengers. Children below 135cm in height need to wear a child restraint in addition to a seat belt. Conduct an inspection of the minibus before setting out on a journey to ensure its road worthiness. It’s important to check the lights and indicators are functioning correctly, tyres are in good condition and the brakes are in good working order. Ensure luggage is securely stowed and all the exits are clear. When the minibus is moving, keep doors unlocked to enable a quick exit in an emergency. It’s advisable not to allow passengers to drink alcohol on a minibus. Alcohol is actually illegal on buses going to and from sporting fixtures. As a driver, be aware of the amount of alcohol you consume the night before driving. Alcohol may still be present in your blood the next day, which will affect your driving ability and fail a breathalyser test if stopped by the police. There is now a requirement of all minibuses registered after 1st January 2005 to be fitted for with a speed limiter, restricting their maximum speed to 62 mph. Speed limits for a minibus on UK roads are: 30 mph in urban and residential areas 50 mph on A class (single-carriageway) roads 60 mph on dual-carriageway roads 70 mph on motorways The speed limit on motorways is reduced to 60 mph when towing a trailer and the fast lane should also not be used for overtaking.

Other issues a minibus driver should be aware of include:

1) A fire extinguisher and a first aid kit must be carried at all times.

2) Avoid using horns or reversing bleepers between 11.30 pm and 7.00 am.

3) Use the minibus’ side lights if parking it on the street at night. A minibus handles differently to a car. For the comfort of your passengers, drive carefully around bends and when braking.

Stopping distance is greatly increased with a minibus. In good weather allow at least 4 seconds between you and the vehicle in front. Double this for wet conditions and add even further distance for icy roads. Tiredness is one of the most common causes of minibus accidents. Remember to take plenty of breaks even if you do not feel tired. It is currently recommended to take a 20 minute break after 2 hours of driving. Safe driving practices prevent accidents and without making claims you will save money on your minibus insurance. The Minibus Club is a good resource for more advice about driving a minibus.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *