There is a reason that the average van driver’s daily route is often less than a fifty mile around trip. Customer base and time constraints are one thing, but when you start approaching treble figures in mileage, a recent report has shown, it is not unusual for drivers to start to shown signs of fatigue.
This is bad enough for long distance drivers and field representatives, but the difference with van drivers is that they generally have to constantly switch from drive mode to work mode and back again. For local distribution or small component manufacturers, this can be in excess of twenty times a day. When the signs of fatigue start to show, it is imperative to take a break, otherwise you could be jeopardising yourself, others on the road and your driving record and subsequent no claims bonus on your van insurance policy.
The plight has been brought to light in a recent report by one of the UK’s most prolific breakdown organisations, which has shown that drivers who travelled more than 100 miles over a weekend are putting themselves at risk not only through lack of focus and concentration on the road ahead but also by physically falling asleep whilst behind the wheel. Long distance drivers are used to taking breaks at motorways services and have learned to adapt breaks very much as part of their working day through essential requirement, not just because they want to fill up their Café Nero card.
Local van drivers, too, are often in and out of their vehicles, but it is those drivers who are spending three or four hours behind the wheel that are the cause for concern by authorities. This could cause a problem with your van insurance if the miles you estimate you drive are on the shy side.
Obviously, the further your job takes you, the more exposed you are to other drivers purely because you’re on the road more; your van insurer will probably take this into account when considering offering you a cheaper van insurance quote. The new report has shown that one tenth of all drivers who took part in the survey and who drive for such periods have admitted to actually falling asleep whilst driving, many of them whilst on the motorway.
The monotony of motorway driving coupled with the extended miles can have the effect of a sleeping tablet, especially if the journey is started on the back of a heavy night or weekend. Research suggests that you’re half as likely again to have a fatal or serious accident if you fall asleep behind the wheel; incredible to think that only half of the respondents said they’d pull off the main drag to get a coffee and only 20% thought to get a rush of fresh air by opening the window if they started to feel drowsy. They must like the thought of paying more for their van insurance…