How to Drive a Bigger Car

March 21, 2024

If you’ve moved from a smaller car to a bigger one, the transition may be a little more challenging than anticipated. Bigger vehicles have longer stopping distances, greater blind spots and less manoeuvrability than their smaller counterparts – making it more important to take the time to get familiar with how they drive.

It’s a good idea to get comfortable with the vehicle by doing a couple of test drives in a quiet, deserted area. Adjust the seat so you can sit up straight and high enough to see a slither of the hood in your mirrors, then move around to work out where all the switches and controls are (don’t forget the rearview camera).

Once on the road, it’s important to remember that larger cars have more mass, which improves their ability to absorb and transfer braking force. It also means they’ll have more inertial force when driving, so sudden acceleration and braking will feel more dramatic.

In addition, bigger vehicles have thicker pillars left and right of the windshield, mainly due to crash regulations and vehicle sturdiness standards, which mean your windows are narrower and the beltline (the height line delineating window and door) is higher. Be sure to give yourself a lot of space to the side of your car when turning, and be extra cautious when switching lanes to avoid those blind spot areas. It’s also worth remembering that large trucks have even more significant blind spots extending up to 8 metres from the front of their cab on the left, and back 60 metres on the right – so always check your mirrors.

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