More than eight out of ten members of the UK’s hard-working van community feel more tired in the autumn and winter than they do in the summer, with 45% admitting they suffered from low mood more in the darker, colder winter months, new research from Mercedes-Benz Vans has found.
Furthermore, 40% of van drivers said they suffered from fatigue as a result of the darker days, with 48% confessing to nearly falling asleep at the wheel.
According to the latest Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer, which monitors the opinions of more than 2,000 people in van community, 30% said they suffered from symptoms akin to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in winter.
The results revealed a significant difference between those who spend more time on the road – 61% of those who spend more than 50 hours of their working week in their van felt more fatigued in winter, compared to 41% of those who work between 15 and 20 hours a week in their van.
The most common method for alleviating tiredness is taking a break, with 62% saying this is what they do. The second most common technique was winding down a window (58%). Some 53% of van drivers keep a blanket in the van in the winter, 61% keep a snack in their vehicle, and 74% of those aged 55+ keep a torch (compared to 48% aged 16-24).
“Although no one should be afraid to drive during the darkness of a winters’ morning or evening, it is something that requires extra consideration before even setting out on the road,” Steve Bridge, the Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Vans UK said. “The hard-working van community is not immune from the impact of SAD or increased isolation during the winter, so we’re determined to raise awareness of just how tiring it can be on both physical and mental health at this time of year.”