IAM RoadSmart has praised employers for helping to reduce the number of serious and fatal crashes involving van drivers.
DfT figures show that despite vans being the fastest growing type of vehicle – in terms of miles travelled – the number of serious and fatal crashes involving them is falling.
In 2016 (the most recent figures available) light goods vehicles travelled a total of 49bn miles – 10bn (22%) more than in 2006.
However, crashes involving vans have fallen from 15,593 in 2006 to 13,125 in 2016 (-16%) – with fatalities also falling, from 274 to 186.
IAM RoadSmart says the reduction is partly down to companies who employ their own drivers increasingly using ‘robust driver training and vehicle management programmes’.
The charity adds that ‘trial by social media’ has also been a factor – as companies cannot risk the reputational damage caused by bad driving in vehicles bearing their company logo.
IAM RoadSmart also points to figures which show that 37% of LCVs (light commercial vehicles) on Britain’s roads are less than five years old, compared to just 5% of all of Britain’s cars – meaning they are ‘far more likely’ to contain the latest in crash protection and active and passive safety features.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “It is heartening to see that van operators are more than ever taking their responsibilities to their drivers and the public seriously, and this is being reflected in a reduction in serious and fatal crashes.
“The increasing use of telematics means drivers and companies will be increasingly held accountable for crashes, so operators know it is in their interest, for both human and economic reasons, that they keep up this good work.”