Van driver research: professional driving standards in the spotlight

With around 3.6 million LCVs on UK roads 1, van drivers can rightly be regarded as the unsung heroes of UK plc – and their vehicles the workhorses of our economy.

Public perceptions of ‘white van man’ arguably do a disservice to the LCV parc however, not only to its considerable economic and social value, but also to the on-going and successful efforts of many operators to raise standards of professionalism.

In our latest research, we’ve given fleet UK van drivers a ‘voice’, asking for their opinions on their performance behind the wheel, that of other road users and the training they receive.

The research findings, outlined in our infographic, make for interesting reading – challenging the traditional van driver stereotype and highlighting the sector’s efforts to improve standards.

TT van driver research infographic V7

LCVs support a diverse range of businesses and many should be lauded for implementing and sharing fleet best practice initiatives. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) Van Excellence ‘accreditation’ scheme, for example, has made a significant contribution to higher standards of professionalism, safety and compliance across the LCV sector.

As a telematics provider, there are clear synergies between our goals and those of the FTA. We share the same commitment to help fleets improve driver safety and enable them to implement best practices, and have been a strong supporter and partner of the Van Excellence scheme since its launch in 2011.

The driver behaviour benefits of advanced telematics technology are clear, empowering businesses and their drivers with a wide range of actionable data to help improve performance behind the wheel.

According to FTA Head of Vans, Mark Cartwright, there has been a considerable step change in standards of professionalism over recent years with many van drivers now among the most skilled and responsible on UK roads.

“Driving is an essential element of many a van driver’s day job and their professional responsibilities on the road are invariably taken very seriously,” he said.

“We hope the adoption by larger fleets of the strong, auditable standards that underpin Van Excellence will increasingly trickle down to a become an equally important and recognised benchmark for SMEs and sole traders.”

To discover more on tackling fleet risk factors and improving driver behaviour, visit our Knowledge and Insight Centre.

1Source: Freight Transport Association, Van Excellence Report, 2015

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