Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles conducted the survey among van drivers about the impact of heavy loads on braking distances. According to the New Vehicles, van braking distances can increase by up to 36% equal to an extra two miles at 30 mph, when the vehicle has a 500 Kg payload. Majority of van drivers are unaware of the fact that vehicles carrying weight up to half a tonne needs to stop by extra five meters, by an average of 19% at 60 mph, survey finds. The tests were carried at the MIRA Proving Grounds in the U.K, with the range of vans carrying differing payloads ranging from empty to 500 kg (1,102 lbs) driving at both 30 mph (48 kph) and 60 mph (97 kph).
The director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Carl zu Dohna, said: “Braking distances in the Highway Code are based on an advised standard and don’t take into account the loads that many van drivers carry.”
While transporting heavy loads, drivers must also ensure their load is steadfast to assure the stability of the vehicle as a displacement of heavy loads at the rear can affect the stopping distance and stability of the vehicle.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is the sole manufacturer who is offering Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) in the United Kingdom (UK) across its range as standard. The research supported the use of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) can lead to the reduction of 2,500 crashes per year