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Van man and his dog battle loneliness this Christmas

The Christmas lights are up in towns across the country and everywhere gets busier as people rush online to get festive gifts for friends and family. For van drivers delivering packages at this time of year, their work means they may be spending less and less time with their families.

According to Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer, it found that some UK van operators are battling loneliness by taking their dogs on the road with them for the company.

The Business Barometer research across 2,000 van owners and operators showed that 957 respondents take their dogs on the road (47.85%), therefore based on 451,0000 people identifying van-driving as their primary occupation in a 2017 UK Government workforce survey, there could be over 200,000 dogs on the road in commercial vans on UK roads at any one time

It’s not surprising life on the road can be a lonely place for Great Britain’s professional drivers, with the average driver spending over 17 hours wholly alone and over a third (35%) spending at least 20 hours in solitude

So, with mental health and driver wellbeing taking more of a focus than ever before, drivers are turning to the ‘Van Man’s Best Friend’ to raise their spirits, with one in five agree that their dogs have had a direct positive impact on their mental health. It makes them feel happier, say over half (52%) of van operators who bring their dogs with them when they work.

Considering the average driver gets stuck in congestion for up to 13 hours a day, this friendship is making a difference.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of UK van drivers and operators own at least one dog, with 36% of those having more than one. Proving that the UK is a nation of dog lovers, 38% of road-going dogs are from rescue centres.

Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd, said: “It’s great that our canine friends can join the nation’s hard-working van operators in the vehicles, providing much-needed company along the way. However, it is also important to remember that dogs need to be suitably restrained according to the Highway Code, so a seat belt harness would be a good investment to ensure that both the driver and the dog are safe and secure.”

The Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer is a nationwide quarterly survey of businesses large and small, created to help us understand the economic landscape and discover what van owners and drivers need to keep their business moving.

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Posted on 23rd December 2018 at 6:31 PM

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