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White van man vindicated?

By raccars Published

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They are roundly despised by other road users in the UK, but it turns out that 'white van man' may have been unfairly maligned. New research suggests that white van men are involved in far fewer accidents than car, lorry and coach drivers.

In fact, the new government data shows that in 2012, only one in 261 vans was implicated in an accident on British roads, that's only just over half the average for cars, at one in every 146. Counting incidents at all levels on the scale, from minor knocks to fatal collisions, 12,575 featured input from one of the 3.3 million vans registered in the UK. That adds up to a 0.38% risk of an accident on an annual basis for van drivers.

On the other hand, of the 28.7 million cars on UK roads, 197,388 incidents were reported. That puts the annual accident risk for car drivers at a relatively huge 0.69%. Accident statistics were highest for buses and coaches, one in 26 of which was involved in an accident over the course of a year, while HGV driver accident statistics were one in 68.

An RAC driver survey showed that white van man's reckless reputation is believed by 57% of other motorists, with 54% calling white van men careless on the roads.

Vans are going through a growth period in the UK, now making up 10% of the country's vehicle population and growing two and a half times faster than other market segments. Starting out as a nickname for any van driver, the 'white van man' designation has become a derogatory term for bad driving in general. The RAC research seems to reveal that 'vanophobia' is strong in Britain!

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