VAN drivers think they are being made a scapegoat for poor driving on Britain's roads, according to a new study by TomTom Telematics.
The sat nav and vehicle data company surveyed 100 LCV drivers and found that less than one in ten hand been involved in a road accident in the past 12 months.
The findings challenge earlier research by TomTom in which van drivers finished bottom of the list when it came to which road users are considered the safest or most careful.
Jeremy Gould, European vice president for TomTom Telematics sales, said: "The traditional ‘white van man' stereotype may no longer be a fair one with a great deal having been achieved over recent years to help raise driving standards among LCV operators."
He said that developments in vehicle telematics, which allow fleet managers to monitor vehicles on the road, had resulted in significant improvements in driving standards.
According to the research, truck drivers were considered the safest road users, with a third of van drivers (33 per cent) voting them top. Thirty-three per cent meanwhile considered cyclists to be the least safe.
More than half (59 per cent) believed in-cab technology that provides audible and visual alerts offer the best approach to improving driving standards, followed closely by 49 per cent that voted for driver training courses.
Of the drivers who took part in the survey more than half (54 per cent) said they had driving performance monitored by their employer and more than a third (34 per cent) received driver training.
Mark Cartwright, head of vans at the Freight Transport Association, said: "Van drivers are often unfairly maligned and, in some quarters, continue to shoulder an undeserved reputation.
"Initiatives such as the FTA Van Excellence scheme have been embraced by the industry, demonstrating its commitment to improving standards and increasing best practice awareness."