Report Pinpoints Van Driver Risks


A just released report from AXA Business Insurance has analysed crash reports over the last several years and has pinpointed areas where van drivers are at increased risk. The study looked at 1.3 million police crash reports from between the years 2008 and 2012 and made some startling discoveries about strengths and weaknesses in van driving.

Perhaps most surprising were the statistics regarding van accidents and backing up – van drivers have a 142% increased chance for getting into an accident while in reverse. They also have a 40% increased chance of being hit when they’re parked. Other areas of concern include driving on highways and changing lanes. Many of the problems seem to arise from the decreased visibility that is inherent in driving larger vehicles. Other problems come from commercial drivers being fatigued or being under pressure to meet deadlines.

According to Darrell Sansom, managing director of AXA Business Insurance, companies need to make sure that drivers and their managers are getting the message that though meeting deadlines is important, accidents come at a high cost. “The cost of a crash to a business goes beyond what’s covered in an insurance claim – you have drivers off sick, jobs put on hold or lost, reputational damage, and even serious legal penalties.” The same holds true for tailgating, which has also been a cause of numerous accidents.

Sansom says, “The nation’s van drivers play a vital role in our economy: many are the self-employed business people who are driving growth in the UK economy; shift workers contributing to the construction recovery; and delivery drivers making the online retail boom possible. Our report shows that in many respects, they are also professional, confident drivers who come out better than everyone else on things like speed, drink-driving and handling heavy traffic. However, as a business insurer with a serious responsibility to help our customers reduce their risks, we have to raise the red flag on issues like tiredness and tailgating. We’re alerting the government authorities to our findings and discussing our recommendations for addressing these issues.”