Dogs are helping improve the mental health of van drivers
by Helen Jackson |
posted 14 December 2018
The UK’s van operators are battling loneliness by taking their dogs on the road with them for company, with more than 200,000 van drivers hosting canine companions on any given day.
According to the Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer, which monitors the opinions of more than 2,000 van drivers and owners, life on the road can be a lonely place for Great Britain’s professional drivers. The average driver spends over 17 hours completely alone and over a third (35%) spend 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. One in five agrees that their dogs have had a direct positive impact on their mental health.
Over half (52%) of van operators who bring their dogs with them their vehicle say they do it simply because it makes them feel happier. Those who take their dogs with them throughout their workdays say they feel much happier (52%) and more relaxed (45%). A third (33%) say their dog simply helps them get through their day, and over half (53%) said having their dogs with them has actually assisted in winning new business.
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 really is a nation of dog lovers, 38% of road-going dogs are from rescue centres. Considering the average driver gets stuck in congestion for up to 13 hours a day, this friendship is really making a difference.