White Vans 'Worst For Tailgating'

White Van Man Listed As Top Tailgating Peril For Motorists

01.07.2014

Van drivers are more likely than average to cause certain types of accident, new research has indicated.

A survey by AXA Business Insurance has found van drivers are 47 per cent more likely to be involved in a crash than other motorists when they follow the vehicle in front too closely.

It also found they were more prone to a collision when reversing, doing a U-turn or changing lanes, while such drivers were more likely to get tired or distracted.

However, the survey showed that it is not all bad news by any means when it comes to vans. Such drivers were less likely than average to cause accidents at roundabouts, in towns and cities or during overtaking. They were also regarded as being more confident drivers and less likely to speed or drive under the influence of alcohol.

The findings about van drivers also came with significant regional variations. They were much more likely than other motorists to be involved in an accident in London or the north-west and a little more likely in the Midlands. In other regions, however, they were safer.

AXA Business Insurance managing director Darrell Sansom commented: "The nation's van drivers play a vital role in our economy.

"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 we have to raise the red flag on issues like tiredness and tailgating."
 
The report was produced in the wake of new data showing the overall number of deaths and injuries on the UK's roads has fallen yet again.

It showed the tally of fatalities in 2013 was two per cent down on 2012 at 1,713, while the number of serious injuries dropped by six per cent to 21,657.

Road safety charity Brake welcomed the figures, which have improved every year in the last 20 bar 2011.

However, deputy chief executive of the charity Julie Townsend said even one road death is too many, saying: "Our vision is zero."

Expert Opinion
This is an interesting study which has put a spotlight on the safety habits of van drivers. However, it would be wrong for road safety failings to be purely attributed to one category of motorist, as we sadly see numerous cases when people have died or been left seriously injured as a result of collisions involving all kinds of road users and vehicles.

"Road safety is the responsibility of all motorists and it is also important that local authorities work to promote high standards and encourage drivers to always put the issue first.

"While the number of people killed and injured on the roads dropped last year, it is still unacceptable that 1,713 people have lost their lives in collisions. There is still much to be done to improve safety on the UK’s roads."
Colin Ettinger, Partner