Van drivers risking fines as half admit not using hands-free

More than half of van drivers admit they make phone calls behind the wheel without using a hands-free device, according to new research.

The survey by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles found that on average, van drivers spend 35 minutes on the phone each day in their vehicles, making an average of seven calls a day.

One in 10 spend as much as two hours on the phone while driving during the working day.

However, around a quarter (23%) of the 500 drivers surveyed said their vans are not hands-free enabled, while a third (33%) admitted they have the technology but don't always use it.

Just over a quarter (27%) said their vehicle was fitted with hands-free and they always use it to make phone calls while driving.

The research comes two years after the Government introduced tougher laws on phone use at the wheel.

Since March 2017, driving while using a hand-held mobile device - including voice calls, texting, taking photos or video or posting on social media - has carried a fine of £200 and six penalty points on your licence.

With 12 points usually leading to a driving ban, being caught twice is enough to have your licence revoked. And for van drivers, that could mean the loss of their livelihood.

All models in the VW Commercial Vehicles range are fitted with Bluetooth for hands-free mobile use, and its vans are also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Sarah Cox, head of marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: "Our figures show that many van drivers don't have or aren't using a Bluetooth hands-free kit behind the wheel - risking not only a fine and potential ban, which would damage business, but, more seriously, a potentially fatal accident.

"As part of our Working With You promise, we ensure all our customers have the right accessories and equipment to make their jobs as easy and safe as possible."

Recent UK Government statistics reveal that nearly half a million drivers still use their phones behind the wheel. Phone distraction is listed as a contributory factor in more than 30 road deaths annually.

Stay safe on the road by visiting our van and car insurance pages for a quote today.