Fleet News

White van man finally has his say

SPARE a thought for white van man – he’s stressed out by life on Britain’s roads.

That is the finding of a new survey by Ryder Truck Rental, which questioned drivers who hire commercial vehicles from its depots.

The survey asked questions about the stresses and strains of daily life on the road, what drivers do to alleviate the stress and who they believe to be the most inconsiderate drivers.

It gave an interesting insight into life on the road.

Over 80% of the drivers interviewed indicated that driving conditions had become more stressful over the past three years. The major cause was traffic jams in part owing to the sheer volume of traffic now on the roads, with eight out of 10 indicating this was the one thing that made driving stressful for them.

Not surprisingly this was followed by road works (64%), parking restrictions that had been introduced into many of the major high streets and cities (47%), speed cameras (46%) and the pressure to deliver goods on time (36%). Drivers hogging the middle lane on motorways, not indicating, and early starts/long hours were also quoted as sources of stress.

To deal with the stress commercial vehicle drivers have a number of techniques – some of which are responsible for the bad reputation of ‘white van man’.

Twenty nine percent resorted to swearing, 14% made some kind of hand gesture or beeped their horn and 11% shouted and screamed in an effort to alleviate the stress. More worryingly for the health of the driver, 28% resorted to cigarettes. Only 20% took the opportunity to play their favourite music to help calm them.

When it comes to who they believe are the most inconsiderate drivers, taxi drivers were named by 45% of the drivers questioned, followed by bus drivers (29%) and then female car drivers (21%).

Robin White, Ryder director, said: ‘I think we need to cut our commercial drivers some slack. Most people complain about traffic when they are just making journeys to the shops or on the school – these guys have to put up with the frustrations of modern driving every day.’

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