A study conducted by an insurance website in the UK has revealed that as many as one sixth of professional drivers admit to leaving valuable items in their vehicles overnight on a regular basis, despite knowing that they are at a heightened risk of theft. Furthermore, more than half of guilty participants confessed that the goods left overnight belong to other individuals.
As part of their ongoing research into the work habits and preferences of UK construction workers, the insurance website constructaquote has undertaken research aimed at looking into van drivers and their attitudes toward the security and safety of vehicles contents, particularly overnight.
The study polled a total of 1,934 UK workers aged 18 and over who currently drive a van as part of their job description. Of the workers questioned, the majority (59%) do not own the vehicle they drive for work purposes, and stated that it belongs to their employers. Furthermore, just over half (51%) do not own the goods kept in the vehicles.
Participants were asked if they ever leave items or tools from their jobs locked in vehicles overnight, despite knowing they are of high value. Whilst two thirds (67%) confessed to having previously done so on rare occasions, one sixth (17%) of drivers polled admitted that they do so on a regular basis of at least once a week or more.
Relevant drivers were then asked to disclose the items most regularly left overnight in vehicles, with power tools (43%), machinery (31%) and money (17%) emerging as the most common answers. When asked to disclose the estimated worth of goods and items left in their vehicles on a typical night, the average amount emerged as £4,350.
After being quizzed on the reasons behind why drivers feel it’s acceptable to repeatedly leave their valuables in vehicles for the duration of the night, the most common answers emerged as follows:
- Too much effort to move everything inside/to a safer place- (36%)
- I live/leave the vehicle in a safe or crime-free area – (27%)
- My vehicle is fitted with alarms so everything is secure- (21%)
- I know all the contents in the vehicle are insured so I don’t need to move anything- (15%)
- My boss/employer told me I didn’t have to bother taking things in overnight- (9%)
Interestingly, of all participants taking part in the research, just 4% admitted to ever previously being a victim of car theft from either a work vehicle or their own car.
Lyndon Wood of constructaquote.com commented: “Whilst it’s all too easy to have the ‘it will never happen to me’ mentality surrounding vehicle theft and safety, I have been witness to far too many incidents and crimes to justify this excuse any longer. Just because you’ve done something safely for a number of years without experiencing any hassle does not mean that you will always remain free of bother.
“It may seem annoying to have to move all the contents of your van or vehicle in and out each morning and night, but trust me, dealing with police officers and angry family members, not to mention your ticked off boss, will cause a LOT more hassle!”