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White van man is part of the largest growing vehicle groups – in fact every tenth vehicle on the road is and LCV

LITTLE is known about Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) market and its behaviours are poorly understood compared with Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs).

Quite often, authorities treat LCVs as the same as cars, or HGVs, when in fact they are their own distinct group.

Today the man in the white van has a reason to smile.

He is part of the largest growing vehicle groups, every tenth vehicle on the road is an LCV.

A recent report from RAC Foundation, and RAC Van Insurance highlights some numbers that highlight emerging van trends:

  • The number of LCVs registered in the UK has increased by 29% over the past 10 years to 3.28 million.
  • Over the same 10 year period the number of HGVS have decreased by 5% to 460,600.
  • 53% of LCVS are privately owned but likely many used for business purposes.
  • 99% of privately owned LCVs are owned by men.

 Common Misconceptions about Van Drivers

There is a collective opinion about LCV drivers, that they are more dangerous and more likely to be involved in road accidents than other vehicle drivers.

However, In Great Britain there were 12,575 incidents involving LCVs in 2012. This figure represents 5% of all reported road traffic incidents in Great Britain (while making up 14% of traffic). Many of these incidents occur in major urban areas of Great Britain.

Many of these incidents occurred in major urban areas between 8am and 6 pm.

However, the number of incidents involving LCVs was found to have reduced both in number (down 29%) and the rate per billion miles driven (down 42%), despite the number of LCVs registered increasing over the same period (up 29%).

  • Majority of incidents (77%) occur between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., during the working day.
  • Morning and afternoon peaks in collisions occur at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. respectively.

The fact that most incidents occur between 8 am and 6 p.m is to be expected as LCVs are most active during the peak hours of the morning and afternoon, this also coincides with general traffic peaks.

A simple conclusion would be to deduce that incidents are most likely to occur at times that traffic on the road also increases.

Although in general, the number of van incidents are quite low, there is room for improvement in regards to road safety. Van drivers are prone to driving long hours and should remember to take periodic breaks to avoid fatigue.

Van insurance spokesman Simon Williams 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.”


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