Rising fuel prices seem to be causing some serious problems for van drivers, even more so than just a dent in monthly profits from the difficult economy.
Vapour trailers – van drivers that run the fuel guage down to the very last drop – are driving in such a way that they seriously risk running out of fuel on the go, as the fuel warning light blazes in the dash.
Rescue firm Green Flag has seen a large rise in recent years. Last year 1.4 million drivers ran out of fuel entirely and millions more are suffering from “petrol panic” on the roads as their low fuel warning light glows and they scan the road for a filling station.
On average, Brits are spending £1414.40 a year on fuel and with prices having rocketed by 27% since the financial crisis struck in 2008. Breakdown services want to highlight that managing consumption is vital to road user’s safety.
Research from Green Flag shows that younger drivers aged 18-34 find themselves empty the most often, with 25% having done so in the last three months alone.
Additionally the research points out that 17% of men have run out of fuel while driving, compared to only 11% of women.
The reason for these statistics is that UK’s motorists are getting less value and mileage for their money in the toughest of times.
However Miranda Schunke, spokesperson for Green Flag breakdown service, has little sympathy for vapour trailers, saying: “Vapour trailers pose a serious threat to themselves and other motorists.
“Running out of fuel on a busy road increases the risk of being hit by other motorists and those who have run dry awaiting assistance by the side of the road are also leaving themselves unnecessarily vulnerable.
“Rising fuel prices and the general costs of living are contributing to van drivers understandably changing their driving habits but running on empty is not worth the risk.”
Ms Schunke said business van drivers should ideally fill up once the fuel gauge reached the quarter empty point.