DOGS are a man’s best friend the saying goes. But they are also a van man’s best friend too.
More than 200,000 van drivers have a dog to accompany them on any given day according to data extrapolated by Mercedes-Benz Vans in its Business Barometer.
It seems life on the road as a van driver can be a lonely one. The average driver spends over 17 hours completely alone and over a third (35%) spend at least 20 hours in solitude says the Business Barometer which assesses the opinions of more than 2,000 van drivers and owners.
One in five van drivers agree that their dogs have a positive impact on their mental health. Over half (52%) of van operators who let their doggy chums come along for the ride say they do it simply because it makes them feel happier.
Those who take their dogs with them throughout their work days say they feel much happier (52%) and more relaxed (45%). A third (33%) say their dog simply helps them get through their day, and over half (53%) said having their dogs with them has actually assisted in winning new business.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of UK van drivers and operators own at least one dog, with 36% of those having more than one. Proving that the UK really is a nation of dog lovers, 38% of road-going dogs are from rescue centres.
Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans, said:
“It’s great that our canine friends can join the nation’s hard-working van operators in the vehicles, providing much needed company along the way. However it is also important to remember that dogs need to be suitably restrained according to the Highway Code, so a seat belt harness would be a good investment to ensure that both the driver and the dog are safe and secure.
“I wish I could take Gilbert, my Westie, to work with me!”