According to data collected by a leading insurance company, almost 60% of van drivers had caused an accident in the past 12 months, accounting for about £30 million in claims.
Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) said this figure was based on its own claim statistics involving vans. It was revealed by the company as it released the results of a study into Britain’s most feared drivers among pedestrians and motorists.
Van drivers were high on the list, with a fifth of other motorists believing vans and lorries posed the biggest potential threat to their safety on the roads. Pedestrians were found to fear younger drivers the most.
In a separate study, more than half of UK van drivers said they planned to improve their behaviour on the road during 2007. The survey of more than 1,200 commercial vehicle drivers found that 58% of them wanted to improve their motoring skills.
More than a third (34%) planned to show more patience and courtesy, 22% wanted to keep within the speed limit, 14% planned to avoid road rage and 9% said they would not park illegally.
Neil Addley, director of online commercial van buying company vansunited.co.uk, which carried out the study, said: ‘Commercial drivers and in particular van drivers are often an easy target for criticism, partly because they stand out so easily on our roads.
‘With UK van drivers clocking up nearly 34 million miles every year, they’re bound to make the odd mistake.
‘What’s great is how many are focused on a drive for perfection in the new year.’