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14 March 2012

A fifth of business drivers are exceeding the speed limit, and as many as one in 10 are driving through red lights to get to appointments on time or meet targets, according to research released by RSA.

It also claims sales reps are the most dangerous business drivers, but van drivers are more likely to ignore vehicle faults and haulage drivers are not given enough time to sleep between shifts.

In addition, one in four business drivers are being put under pressure to get to appointments on time and meet ambitious sales or delivery targets, leading to dangerous and in some cases illegal driving practices.

The study suggests businesses and their employees are turning a blind eye to road safety as they try to cope with increased pressure to perform post-recession.

It also questions the roadworthiness of some business vehicles. Almost a third of workers say they have driven with a blown light or faulty windscreen wipers, around a fifth have ignored a cracked windscreen – potentially impairing their vision – and more than one in ten have driven with a slow puncture.

Jon Hancock, managing director of Commercial at RSA, said: “Employers have a duty of care to ensure the legality of their vehicles as well as the safety of their drivers and, by extension, other road users, yet these findings suggest that due diligence is not being adhered to in all parts of the country or by all types of business drivers.”