Mercedes-Benz VitoUnder-pressure van drivers are either risking dehydration or being forced to wee while driving in order to meet challenging delivery targets, new research by Mercedes-Benz Vans UK has revealed.

With the summer heatwave well underway, the company surveyed over 2,000 van drivers and owners as part of its regular Business Barometer survey, to investigate their hydration and health in the hot weather. The results make depressing reading.

Seven in 10 van drivers say are unable to keep properly hydrated because of work pressures, with 20 percent avoiding drinking water altogether. Almost 30 percent say they offset the inevitable tiredness with sugary drinks or caffeine.

Also, 63 percent believe their health has been impacted, and one in 10 claims to be suffering a serious health condition due to intense working patterns.

Thirsty drivers aren’t drinking enough in the hot weather because the inevitable loo breaks would impact on delivery targets. Shockingly, one in 10 drivers admit they wee on the move to avoid having to stop.

More than three in 10 believe asking to use a customer’s toilet would be just too awkward. Which, says Mercedes-Benz Vans MD Steve Bridge, is an interesting debate: “It is unlikely that we would say no to a plumber or electrician asking to use our facilities – so why would a delivery driver be any different?

“In this hot weather, we are asking the great British public to consider the health and wellbeing of delivery drivers, and to open their minds, and toilets, to these hard-working men and women to ensure they can stay well hydrated and keep Britain moving.”

Johanna Hignett is a spokesperson for the National Hydration Council. “Being well hydrated is really important, not only for our physical health, but also for mental performance.” Van drivers are busy and need to maintain high levels of concentration all day, she said.

“If we don’t consume enough water, we can experience fatigue, or become less alert, so it is really important that van drivers are taking on fluid throughout the day.

“The European Food Safety Authority recommended fluid intake per day for is 2.5 litres for men and two litres for women, around three quarters of which should be coming from drinks.”