‘Vanophobes’ should give LCV drivers a break, say RAC


STEREOTYPE: White van men unfairly treated

Motorists in Britain should give van drivers a break, the RAC have claimed, after figures revealed they have an unjust reputation for bad behaviour.

A sizeable 57% of motorists surveyed believe van drivers’ reputation for bad behaviour at the wheel is deserved, with 54% claiming they are more inconsiderate than other road users.

However, analysis of government figures shows van drivers are no more likely to be involved in a reported accident than car drivers, with both having a less than 1% chance.

Indeed, van drivers actually do better at avoiding crashes, with one in 146 cars involved in a reportable accident in 2012, compared to one in 261 vans.

“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.”

Simon Williams, RAC

Statistically, bus and coaches have the most accidents as one in 26 (4%) were involved in one in 2012, while HGV drivers have a 1.5% accident risk.

Simon Williams, Spokesman at RAC Van Insurance, 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.

“Our research clearly paints us as a nation of ‘vanophobes’ which seems harsh when you look at the accident statistics and see both van and car drivers have the same statistical chance of being involved in an accident.

“In fact, you could argue that van drivers are less likely to have an accident as one in 146 car drivers will have an accident compared to one in 261 van drivers.

“Van drivers – plumbers, builders, electricians, plasterers and delivery drivers – are the life-blood of the economy and yet motorists continue to hold this opinion, regardless of their driving experiences.

“This judgement seems a little unfair which is why we think it’s time to give van drivers a bit of a break as well as some recognition for their significant contribution to the economy.”


  1. As always, statistics can be interpreted in many ways: there are considerably fewer vans than cars on the roads, so one would expect there to be a lower percentage of accidents.

    Also, the study does not show how many accidents occur as a result of the actions of van drivers; are they leaving decimation in their wake, and simply driving away from the accidents they have caused as they were not involved in the actual collision?

    Note too how often vans can be seen with dents and scratches; are the incidents causing these dents and scratches being reported? I would suggest that more car drivers report these incidents than van drivers.

    I spend a fair amount of time on the roads driving to see clients, and far more often than not, I observe vans being driven badly rather than cars.

    My personal observations would refute the results of this study.

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