Life on the road can be a lonely place for Great Britain's professional drivers,with 35% spending at least 20 hours in solitude every week.
However, with mental health being a key concer for large swathes of the country, drivers are turning to the 'van man's best friend' to raise their spirits, with one in five (20%) saying their dogs have had a direct positive impact on their mental health.
In fact, drivers that take their dogs with them throughout their work days say they feel much happier generally (52%) and more relaxed (45%). And a third (33%) of drivers say their dog simply helps them get through the day. Considering the average driver gets stuck in congestion for up to 13 hours a day, this friendship is really making a difference.
A nation of dog lovers
Proving that the UK really is a nation of dog lovers, not only are 38% of road-going dogs from rescu centers, over half (53%) said their dogs have played an assisting role in generating new business with customers at least once.
65% of UK van drivers and operators own at least one dog, with 36% of those having more than one. Further, three in five (60%) that own a dog take their furry beast friends in their vans with them. And 96% regularly speak to their dogs, further distancing themselves from the potential pitfalls commonly associated with loneliness.
Finally, an astounding eight in ten (80%) of dog-accompanied van owners like to accessorise their van, making it more homely for their canine chums. Water bowls (49%), blankets (48%), food bowls (39%), beds (37%) and even specially fitted seatbelts (34%) all feature heavily.