Van Safety

Due to the increased risk of accidents, Texas A&M University now has specific guidelines for the use and operation of full size passenger vans. Please review these regulations before requesting van rental. One requirement of driving full size passenger vans is Van Safety Training. This web-based course covers topics that will help reduce the risk of rollover. The cost of the training is $10.00 per training and will be billed to the department. To sign up for this 20-30 minute course, please fill out the Request for Van Safety Training or MVR Form and submit. Other safety material is available in all the large capacity vans and at the Transportation Center.

Van Safety Tips

The following is a list of procedures to follow when driving large capacity vans:

  • The use of mirrors is very important when driving the large vans. Each new driver should adjust all mirrors before beginning or resuming a trip.
  • Following distance is crucial. When driving a large van increase following distance. It is difficult to stop short with a van full of people. Give yourself plenty of room to stop. • Changing lanes takes special caution. Do not change lanes without using side mirrors and a spotter in the back to help. Be sure to signal early.
  • If the trip is long, be sure to change drivers. Driver fatigue impacts response time. The Texas Department of Transportations states a driver should not drive more than eight continuous hours.
  • Do not back up a van without using a spotter for assistance.
  • Do a walk around the van before leaving and take note of overall appearance of the van, taking special note of tires.
  • Allow only those passengers for whom there are seat belts to ride in the vehicle.
  • Luggage carriers or racks will not be used on vans. Manufacturers advise such use of rooftop luggage carriers could render the operation of the vehicle unsafe and could cause the vehicle to be top heavy.
  • Luggage should be stored low and distributed evenly. Please refer to the owner’s manual located in the glove box for loading capacity.
  • Do not load the vehicle any heavier than the GVWR (total permissible weight of your vehicle including driver, passengers, and cargo) or the maximum front and rear GVWR (maximum permissible load on the front and rear axles). The Weight Rating can be found affixed to the inside panel of the driver’s door. Improper weight distribution can have an adverse effect on the way the vehicle handles and the way the brakes operate.

The Transportation Center does allow vans to be used to tow trailers if the vehicle is equipped with a towing package. It is strongly recommended that no one be allowed to tow unless they have previous towing experience. For more information on van safety visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s web page.