Nine out of ten (88%) company car drivers admit to speeding on motorways, according to new research from RAC Business, which represents a 7% increase on figures from last year. In fact almost half (48%) of company car drivers surveyed said they break the speed limit on motorways on most journeys, compared to only 26% of private motorists.
The findings form part of the RAC’s Report on Motoring 2016*, in which just over half (51%) of company car drivers said they typically drive at 80mph on motorways and 7% drive at 90mph. This is also an increase on 2015 figures when 46% confessed to driving at 80mph and 5% to 90mph.
What’s more, 60% of company car drivers think it is totally acceptable to travel at 80mph on motorways and a third (31%) think the current speed limit is inappropriate for the road. In line with that nearly three quarters (71%) believe the motorway speed limit should be increased to 80mph.
However this compulsion to speed is not as widespread on more high risk routes such as country roads with numerous bends where only 5% travel over 60mph, or in 20mph urban area zones where two thirds of company car drivers keep within the limits.
Jenny Powley, corporate business sales director at RAC Business, said that the Report on Motoring 2016 reveals some worrying upward trends and urged caution among business drivers who don’t see a problem with breaking the speed limit.
She said: “Knowingly breaking the speed limit is a dangerous approach to driving, whether you think you can justify it or not, and the risks associated with speeding far outweigh the time saved. After all, driving at 80mph instead of 70mph will only save you six seconds a mile, or 10 minutes over 100 miles.
“It’s also worth considering the impact of speeding on fuel efficiency. According to the Department for Transport, driving at 80mph can use 25% more fuel than driving at 70mph, so this can have a significant impact on the business’ bottom line.
“A key way in which companies can respond to this growing problem is to make the most of telematics technology to identify high risk drivers and journeys and use the data to inform their staff training.
“Encouraging better driving behaviour will not only result in safer roads, but also enable significant savings on the cost of fuel and wear and tear on vehicles. It’s also really important to not just focus on motorways. ROSPA data shows us that around two-thirds of crashes in which people are killed or injured occur on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or less, so it is essential that company car drivers are on high alert throughout their journeys, not just at the highest speeds.”
Notes to editors
*The RAC Report on Motoring 2016 is based on a large-scale internet survey carried out by Quadrangle on behalf of the RAC. In total, Quadrangle interviewed 1,714 British motorists (i.e. those who hold a current driving licence and drive at least once a month). The survey was conducted in May 2016, with the questionnaire taking around 25 minutes to complete.
For further information, please contact:
Simon Peevers, RAC Business PR Manager: 01454 665562 / 07966 610 774
Kerry Grove / Lizy Kidwell, Speed Communications: 0117 906 4517
About RAC Business Services
RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists.
RAC Patrols repair vehicles on average within 31 minutes at the roadside and carry more than 500 parts and tools, so we’re always well-equipped and ready to fix wherever possible.
RAC Business offers a comprehensive range of services and products for UK businesses of all sizes and currently has around 24,000 corporate and SME customers.
Products available include: fleet breakdown coverage, telematics, fuel cards, accident management, inspections, training, commercial and fleet insurance, fleet management (Business Club) and risk management services.
RAC also provides client-branded outsourced services and call centre support for customers of leading car manufacturers, insurance, fleet providers and logistics companies, as well as truck breakdown, truck warranty and insurance for vehicles from 3.5t to 44t.
RAC press releases, news alerts and a wealth of motoring research is available from www.rac.co.uk/press-centre/.