Sent by Chris Grasso  

The size and shape of vans lend to some particular safety issues, and since many people assume that vans are carrying something valuable, security becomes an issue, as well. It’s important that your vehicle is not an easy target for those hoping to cash-in on some easy-to-steal valuables. Protection of your family and possessions is an aspect of travel that cannot be overstated. Whether you’re using your van around town or driving it across the country, always keep these safety and security issues in mind.

Mind Your Speed

Conversion vans are high-profile vehicles, and susceptible to flipping over at high speeds. It’s always important to mind your speed on busy highways and unfamiliar roads. Reducing your speed isn’t only a safer way to drive your van, it lowers fuel costs and protects you from speeding tickets. Fewer tickets and accidents also save you money on insurance premiums. Stay at the speed limit, and take care around steep curves, unfamiliar, icy and wet roads. Watch for signs indicating low shoulders, steep curves and slippery conditions.

Be Aware of Surroundings

Dark parking lots aren’t the only time to have your guard up. Sometimes, to prevent being a victim you have to think like a criminal. What target would you pick? Someone distracted loading or unloading a van, people walking to or from the vehicle with their head low, drivers who don’t lock their doors – all these are signals to the would-be criminal that you’re an easy target. Keep your head up and stay alert, even when you’re busy loading and unloading.

Keep Valuables Out of Sight

Many crimes are opportunistic and would probably never happen if the victim hadn’t “tempted” the perpetrator. When you have equipment, packages or other items of value, keep them out of sight. One way is to get a van with tinted windows, like many of the selections at Dave Arbogast Vans. Another option is to keep old blankets or sheets in the vehicle to cover items while you’re away from the van. Someone might not risk breaking in the vehicle if it looks like nothing, but they might risk it if they see electronics, tools or valuable equipment.

Use Smartphone Apps to Stay Safe

One of the neatest security devices we own is in our pocket. There are tons of apps to issue alerts in case of emergency. Some automatically dial emergency numbers if you don’t respond at a designated time. Other apps alert emergency response teams or sound an alarm. Apps range in price from free to about $6, but many of the free apps are actually the highest rated by users.

When it comes to safety and security in your van, there simply isn’t a substitute for common sense. If a situation looks dangerous, listen to your gut. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Chris is a UNC Chapel Hill grad, now residing in Tampa.