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18% of business drivers don’t take breaks when driving long distances

This is despite the UK Highway Code recommending that drivers take a 15-minute break every two hours. UK and EU regulations on daily driving limits and breaks at home and abroad vary depending on vehicle type. 

As part of Brake’s Road Safety Week, Masternaut surveyed 2,000 UK employees who drive as part of their job, to highlight potential risks for drivers travelling over long distances.

Some business drivers admitted to taking extreme measures to stay alert when driving, with a quarter of those surveyed admitting to singing out loud to the radio to combat tiredness on long journeys. 7% said that they would slap themselves in order to stay alert, whilst 2% would do maths out loud to keep refreshed. Almost a third (31%) would just listen to loud music.

More conventional methods of keeping alert whilst driving included winding down the window (50%), drinking strong coffee or tea (49%) and turning the temperature down (30%).

Mnsternaut added that employers have a duty of care to their staff to monitor their mobile workers’ working time to make sure they don’t go over the limit and take adequate breaks.

Steve Towe, chief commercial officer and UK managing director, commented, “It’s vitally important that drivers are alert at all times and get home safely and employers play a role from a duty of care perspective to ensure that this happens. However, the issue many fleet managers and HR departments find themselves facing is how to effectively monitor their mobile workforce, in some cases across multiple territories with different legislative requirements.” 

He added: “Telematics can provide the answer, giving the means and the tools to make sure that drivers are taking the necessary precautions to ensure they aren’t being a danger to themselves or other road users.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.