They might get a bad rap, but van-driving service techs  are actually some of the safest drivers on the road. They are also well read and might be a bit of a romantic – that is, if “romantic” translates to having a romantic encounter in a service van.  That’s all  according to Van Trader, citing a survey in the U.K., conducted by Ford Motor Company.

The study revealed that more than half of drivers surveyed read books “regularly” and that one in 20 drivers have had a romantic engagement in their van. And to think, we oftentimes discount a person who may be a true scholar and gentlemen – depending on your definition – as just another van-driving tradesman.

A popular part of British culture, the “white van man” is stereotypically a poor driver, aggressive and inconsiderate. He is typically viewed with the same frustration as the insufferable geriatric driver or the out of towner. Needless to say, most drivers who fall into the “white van man” category don’t identify themselves as such. On the contrary, drivers of service vans are typically better drivers than the average motorist. According to the UK’s Automobile Association, 68 percent of van drivers have made no insurance claims and emergency personnel reportedly hold white van drivers in high regard, thanks to their exceptional driving skills and attention to the road. And just like in the States, some of the UK’s savvier van men keep helpful blogs detailing their daily dealings.

So even if regular motorists continue failing to give their friendly white van man the benefit of the doubt, they should take heed – there’s 2.5 million white vans bustling about the UK. That’s a lot of folks who can be provoked all too easily, Van Trader jests.

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ABOUT Sara Suddes

San Francisco-based contributor Sara Suddes writes frequently about small business, the economy and technology.