Time for van drivers to take a bow. The oft maligned ‘white van man’ is in fact one of the safest drivers on the road. That’s what the FTA’s annual Van Excellence Report has revealed.
The report shows that in 2017 there were 4 million vans on UK roads – that’s one for every ten vehicles. Vans play an essential role in the UK economy, with a 3.2% increase in the number of vans registered with UK companies over the past year. Collectively they travelled 50.5 million miles, an annual increase of 2.6% on the previous year.
But, despite spending their working lives on the UK’s increasingly busy roads, vans and their drivers are involved in three times fewer accidents than car drivers. Over the past decade, despite a 24% increase in the number of vans on the road, the number of casualties in Road Traffic Accidents involving them has reduced by 17%. The number of fatalities fell by 29% over the same period.
The fall in accidents can, the report suggests, be attributed to modern van designs and adaptations – such as additional mirrors, bigger windows, and 360° cameras. Vehicles are physically safer than ever before.
In addition there’s an increased focus on how vans are driven. Telematic recordings that report on dangerous actions, such as excessive braking and acceleration are being utilised with greater frequency within fleets, clearly with positive effect.