According to a study by TomTom Telematics, just 9% of van drivers have been involved in a road traffic collision in the last 12 months. In addition, 54% have their driving performance monitored by their employer and 34% receive driver training.
The findings challenge the views of British motorists revealed in a study published earlier this year, in which van drivers finished bottom of the list when it came to which road users were considered the safest or most careful.
“The traditional ‘white van man’ stereotype may no longer be a fair one,” said Jeremy Gould, the company’s European sales vice-president,” with a great deal having been achieved by LCV operators over recent years to help raise driving standards. Developments in telematics technology have enabled drivers and managers to work more closely, empowering them with actionable insights and performance feedback for continuous driving improvement.”
His view was supported by the Freight Transport Association’s Head of Vans, Mark Cartwright, who added: “Van drivers are often unfairly maligned and, in some quarters, continue to shoulder an undeserved reputation. Initiatives such as the FTA Van Excellence scheme have been embraced by the industry, demonstrating its commitment to improving standards and increasing best practice awareness.”
According to the research, truck drivers were considered the safest road users, with 33% of van drivers voting them top. The least safe in the survey were cyclists, cited by 33% of van drivers.
In-cab technology solutions that provide audible and visual alerts were said by 59% of survey participants to offer the best approach to improving driving standards, followed closely by driver training courses.