What I would like to know is: why do rubbish collectors have to start work so early in the morning, when more than half the population are still asleep and the remainder are trying to get ready for work?

Why don't they make all their noise in the middle of the day when no one's around? Or park the truck in the middle of a suburban road when it won't cause chaos.

But the highest accolade goes to the white-van man.

Put white-van driver into his Nissan Primera, or whatever, and he drives with all due care and attention.

Put him in a van and it's as if the red mist descends and the berserker rage takes over.

They all think their vans are 10cm narrower than they actually are, and must get a $10 bonus for every wing mirror knocked off or car door scratched.

I think all van-driving job applicants must require motor racing experience - I've never witnessed a van travelling at less than flat-out in top gear, at times billowing black smoke out the back.

The most terrifying sight in the rear-vision mirror is a van with two blokes in it, approaching at max speed to tailgate so close that you can't see its headlights. Just as you think the driver is going to park himself in your boot, he swerves at the last minute - taking the odd flake of paint from the bumper.

On balance, the swerve at the last minute into another lane is probably more terrifying that the thought of being mounted from behind.

I can just imagine some poor sod, minding his own business in another lane, see his or her life flash in front of his or her eyes as a van suddenly materialises in front of the bonnet. Needless to say there is no sign of an indicator. Must be an optional extra on a van.

To remain safe from the majority of van drivers (see, I acknowledge there are the odd drivers of vans who are not suffering from the berserker rage) always expect them to:

Pull out from the curb without any notice or indication

Force other drivers out of the way

Barrel through traffic lights regardless of the colour.As readers of this column are well aware, I'm no great lover of pushbike riders and their insufferable belief that they have equal rights on the roads, but I do feel sorry for them when a van driver is in the area. Against one of those there is no chance.

The Social Issues Research Centre in the United Kingdom carried out a research that indicated up to 75 per cent of men rate themselves as above-average drivers.

There's a surprise (note dripping sarcasm).

Van drivers reckon they are non-aggressive with only 10 per cent owning up to the "occasional misdemeanour".

Maybe it's a Jekyll and Hyde thing - the van must be an outlet for a frustrating and incomplete life.

God help us if they ever get to drive an articulated lorry.

So, although there is a typical rude and reckless van man out there, it would only be fair to say he is just one faction - although an obvious one - among the many motorists behind the wheel of various vehicles who should allow more time to get where they're going.