Concerns About Van Driver Vigilance Near Schools
A recent study conducted by The AXA Group, a global provider of insurance for motor vehicles, has confirmed the concerns of parents and school administrators across the UK regarding the lack of vigilance being displayed by van drivers while in the vicinity of school buildings and properties.
The study was prompted by statistics indicating that vans are responsible for the majority of accidents in which children have been struck on or near school properties. The collision rates vary based on locale, with drivers in Manchester and Liverpool showing the highest degree of carelessness in school zones: in those areas nearly 7 out of every ten accidents involved a van driver. Other areas reflect slightly better statistics, with Swansea and Cardiff showing numbers below four out of every ten.
The survey that AXA Group conducted asked drivers whether or not they took extra precautions when driving in a school zone – one out of ten drivers involved in the survey indicated that they rarely or never paid extra attention in these areas. Commercial van drivers are generally beginning their work days at approximately the same time as schools open, and children are often crossing roads and vulnerable to being involved as pedestrians in accidents.
The survey revealed startling statistics from the last six years, with more than half a million school children having been struck by a vehicle within 500 meters of their school. Over 85,000 of those children died as a result of their injuries.
Businesses that employ van drivers are being urged to offer education and training regarding safety precautions that are needed in the vicinity of schools for the protection of the children.