A day in the life of a

The stresses and strains of UK van drivers

Tired of the stresses and strains of a day spent behind the wheel? You're not alone.

Vans now account for a fifth of all traffic on urban streets and motorways, and that figure is expected to double by 2040.

Drivers are spending longer behind the wheel1 and driving longer distances too – and it’s taking its toll on the country’s van drivers.

From aches and pains to stress and fatigue, a day in the life of the average van driver isn’t always a smooth ride. That’s why we want to make sure the UK’s van drivers are aware of the problems that can come from spending too long behind the wheel.

If you’re tired of the stresses and strains of a day in the driver’s seat, take a look at our video series and find out how to manage some of the most common ailments and issues faced by the nation’s van drivers.


Almost 50% of UK drivers suffer from repetitive strain injury2

The average van covers a distance of 13,000 miles per year. That’s the length of the entire UK almost 15 times. And all that travel is leading to high levels of repetitive strain injury among UK drivers.

From foot cramp to eye strain and from lumbar pain to stiff necks, the UK’s drivers are suffering the negative effects of incorrect driving posture combined with long journeys.

For more information on how to deal with some of the aches and pains resulting from long periods cooped up behind the wheel, take a look at five exercises you can do in your van.


20% of UK drivers reported feeling stress behind the wheel3

With more vans on the road than ever before, it’s perhaps unsurprising that one in five van drivers reported feeling stress on our busy roads. What’s even more worrying is that a massive 81% of UK drivers have been the victim of road rage at some point while on the roads.

Stress on the road has also been linked to adverse health effects such as elevated blood pressure in the long term, so if you start to feel anxious behind the wheel, it’s important to take a break to relax and calm yourself.

Apps like Headspace could help you de-stress after a long drive, or a quick cup of tea, some deep breaths and some fresh air could do wonders for your mood.


40% of sleep-related accidents involve commercial vehicles4

In a recent study1, we found 46% of van drivers said they drive between three and six hours a day for work. And worryingly, although the law restricts a driving day to ten hours, 2% of those surveyed admitted to regularly driving more than ten hours per day.

UK Government guidelines only stipulate a 30-minute break after five and a half hours behind the wheel for van drivers. However, try to take a 15-minute break every two hours on long journeys.

Remember, the only real cure for sleepiness is a proper sleep, but for more tips on beating fatigue behind the wheel, visit our guide below.

Keep your van moving – no matter what

We know the life of a van driver isn’t always a smooth ride. That’s why we want to make sure protecting your van, and keeping your business moving, is as simple as possible with van insurance from AXA.

Find out more about business van insurance from AXA, or get a quote today and save 10% when you buy online.

Get a van insurance quote now

1AXA driving habits  survey of 301 respondents, 2015

2Source: eBayMotors.co.uk “Are You Sitting Comfortably?” study, personneltoday.com/hr/ergonomics-for-drivers/

3Source: “How to avoid driving stress”, Confused.com, Aug 2015, confused.com/on-the-road/safety/how-to-avoid-driving-stress

4Source: Department of Transport ‘THINK!’ campaign, think.direct.gov.uk/fatigue.html