Van drivers are more likely to be involved in collisions due to tiredness and tailgating rather than speeding

New report by Road Safety Analysis (RSA), the report, which explores the trends surrounding van driver collisions in Great Britain, has been compiled by RSA in partnership with AXA Business Insurance.

RSA used its MAST Online data analysis tool to analyse 1.34m motor vehicle drivers involved in injury collisions between 2008 and 2012, which included 65,000 crashes involving van drivers.

The report says that collisions involving vans often follow very different patterns from other vehicle crashes. It says that van drivers are crashing more due to tiredness and tailgating and identifies situations which are “far more dangerous in a van” including reversing, motorway driving, parking and changing lanes.

On the other hand, the report says that van drivers “crash less through speed” and are better at negotiating cities, roundabouts, traffic jams and built-up environments.

The report concludes that driver training is “essential”, as is getting better information to employers/drivers on the “special dangers of these vehicles” including longer stopping distances, the effects of loads on vehicle response and visibility issues.

Van drivers are more likely to be in their early 40’s than any other age group, although the differences are quite slight, other than for very young drivers under the age of 25 and those aged 60 or over where numbers are low. Within the 25 to 54 age range we see that van drivers are crash-involved between 14 and 24% more than expected based on trends seen for all drivers of other vehicles.

This is likely to reflect increased exposure on the road as they drive much greater distances than other drivers. Van drivers are more likely to come from lower-income households, with higher crash rates than those seen for drivers of other vehicles from similar backgrounds.

Van drivers are more likely to crash on Primary roads (motorways and dual carriageways) than expected, and much less likely to be crash-involved on urban roads of all type. On all types of roads van drivers are likely to be much further away from home (5 miles as the crow flies) than drivers of other vehicles which heavily reflects their driving patterns. We can see that van drivers are less likely to be involved in crashes at junctions (except slip roads) than other drivers, especially roundabouts.

As well as looking at the total number of crashes involving van drivers by region, we can also reflect on the over-representation based on other vehicles. This shows that in London, vans are crash-involved at a rate 22% higher than other vehicles, with the North East (18%) and West Midlands (13%) also showing increased crash rates.

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