The UK Department for Transport launched a new THINK! Driving for Work campaign in March 2007 to remind people who drive vans for work to take more care while driving. It is estimated that around 200 road deaths and serious injuries each week involve someone at work. That means an estimated one third of all crashes involves somebody who was at work at the time – that’s a tragic waste of about 1,000 lives every year.
In the last 10 years, the number of vans in the UK has increased by around one third and van traffic by 40%. There are now three million vans on Britain’s roads, and the annual volume of new registrations is around 320,000. The home delivery sector in particular has seen phenomenal growth recently due to internet shopping demands. New van drivers are being recruited to accommodate this growth – for many of these driving for work is a secondary requirement to their core task.
The initial phase of the Driving for Work campaign informed people who drive vans for work of the potential hazards of work related driving, focusing on the primary hazards of speed (due to time pressure), distractions (mobile phones, drinking, reading maps) and journey planning (fatigue). The target audience was male van drivers primarily aged 17-39, who drive as part of their work.