Van drivers are being forced to risk their own safety and others by unrealistic work schedules and overbearing management warns a new survey. The pressure they are under puts them under an obligation to drive too fast, skip breaks and take avoidable risks said the research.
Some drivers admitted that they eat, drink and map-read while at the wheel, with already risky behaviour being compounded by their tiredness.
"Much of the time there is poor communication between managers and drivers," said the report.
"This needs to be improved. If management and staff cannot agree on what safety action is being taken in the company, all the policies, all the vetting and all the training schemes will have little effect."
Many companies were praised for their efforts to maintain driver safety, but a significant number were shown to be failing in their duty of care. Of particular concern were dedicated-driver companies such as couriers, half of whom had no structured driver induction while the other half relied on a "buddy" system.
The stereotype of the ‘white van’ driver, it seems, is due to pressure of work and it perhaps a little unjustified.