Does the White Van Man Deserve a New Reputation?
When the phrase ‘white van man’ is typed into the oxford dictionary the definition appears immediately: an aggressive male driver of a delivery or workman’s van (typically white in colour). But where did it all begin? And so van drivers really live up to the inconsiderate, selfish, aggressive behaviour we expect them to?
It seems the phrase began in 1997 it was first heard when Sarah Kennedy used the phrase on radio 2, in May of 1997 The Sunday Times published an article with the title ‘ Number is up for the White Van Man’ and this is the first recorded use in British Press, it has been used countless times since !
So are white van drivers really that bad? In a study by the RAC it was found 57% of those surveyed believed van drivers really did deserve their reputation. However when official figures on reported accidents are considered it seems the white van man really comes out on top. In 2012 1 in 146 cars were involved in reported accidents compared to 1 in 246 vans, so well done van drivers!
So what can van drivers do to shake of this unfair stereotype of being a thug on wheels? Well the RAC asked people that too –
- 43% thought van drivers should drive with more care and consideration.
- 17% thought van drivers needed to pay more attention to the rules of the road.
- 3% sadly thought that no matter what van drivers did they would always have a bad reputation.
There’s good and bad everywhere whether you are in a van, car, boat or tuk tuk, see this hero van driver who risked his life to pull a person from a burning vehicle but then on the downside drivers like this really don’t help the cause …..
Finally ….. I have an idea for all you white van drivers who are unhappy with their stereotype ……….choose a different colour van!
The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.
5 June 2014
Written by Rivervale