Almost two-fifths (39 per cent) of UK van drivers say the stresses of the job have a negative impact on their personal lives, according to new research.
The study, conducted by TomTom Telematics, lifts the lid on the pressure drivers face as a result of challenging work schedules. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) claim daily job schedules always put them under excessive time pressure, while a further 23 per cent say it happens regularly.
The consequences of this should make worrying reading for businesses. Fifty per cent of drivers say time pressures result in turning up late for job appointments, while 23 are caused to speed or drive less safely and 17 per cent cut corners or spend less time on jobs.
"Van drivers perform a crucial function within the British economy, but there is a danger they will not be able to fulfill this role effectively if they are forced to work under excessive pressure," said Beverley Wise, Director UK and Ireland at TomTom Telematics.
"The stereotype of the reckless 'white van man' is an unfair one. Drivers appear to go to serious lengths to get the job done – to the extent their personal lives suffer – so it is clear they need appropriate support to operate as safely and efficiently as possible."
The research also found only 28 per cent of drivers regularly take their full, contractual lunch break.
Furthermore, 27 per cent of drivers are regularly unable to complete daily job schedules. Contributory factors included traffic-related delays (cited by 42 per cent), excessively demanding work schedules (19 per cent) and bad planning by the office (11 per cent).
Wise added: "Increased staffing levels may not be an option for many businesses, especially in testing economic times, but technological aids can help to alleviate time pressures on drivers. Up-to-date traffic data and historic journey times provided by telematics can contribute to dynamic planning processes that ensure daily schedules are optimised. This means planning can account for expected congestion to help arrange jobs at times when its impact is minimized and ensure each job is allocated to the most appropriate driver."