They may be the recklessly driving, anti-social, mobile-phone-using, stereotypical pet hate of the UK’s motorists, but white van men are nearly half as likely to be involved in an accident as normal car drivers, according to new Government data.
Annually published statistics for road casualties shows that just one in every 261 vans was involved in a collision on British roads in 2012, compared with one in 146 cars.
The UK has 3.3 million registered vans on its roads, 12,575 of which were involved in an accident – ranging from minor prangs to fatal collisions – meaning each one had a 0.38 per cent chance of having an accident over the course of the year.
“Our research clearly paints us as a nation of ‘vanophobes’ which seems harsh when you look at the accident statistics.” – RAC
This is nearly half the probability than for car drivers, with the UK’s 28.7 million-strong number involved in 197,388 incidents in 2012, working out at a 0.69 per cent likelihood of each having a crash.
Mass transit vehicles such as buses and coaches were the most likely to get into strife on the road, with one in 26 having a collision over the same period. Meanwhile, HGVs proved safer, with only one in 68 involved in an accident.
Despite the figures, a study by the RAC shows the UK’s motorists still hold van drivers in low regard, with the majority believing that their reputation for inconsiderate driving is well deserved and that they take less care when out on the roads.
Vans have become increasingly popular in the UK, with uptake 2.5 times greater than for cars. One in ten vehicles on our roads is now a van or LCV.
RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “While ‘white van man’ has been used as a generic term for van drivers for years it now seems to have become very much associated with bad driving too,” reported the Telegraph.
“Our research clearly paints us as a nation of ‘vanophobes’ which seems harsh when you look at the accident statistics.”