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Fleet drivers are almost three times more likely to hit 90mph or more

According to the RAC’s Report on Motoring 2014, nearly nine in 10 (88%) British company car drivers admit to regularly exceeding the speed limit on motorways, compared to two-thirds (67%) of private motorists.

And company car drivers were more likely to significantly exceed the limit. Almost two-thirds (62%) claim to reach speeds of 80mph on motorways, almost double that of regular motorists (32%). Meanwhile company car drivers are almost three times more likely to hit 90mph or more, with 8% admitting exceeding 90mph, compared with 3% of regular drivers.

When asked why they broke the speed limit, almost a third (31%) of company car drivers said they were just following the general flow of traffic, whilst a fifth (19%) put it down to the driving conditions being favourable. Meanwhile, 15% said 70mph felt too slow and almost one in 10 (8%) said that modern cars are built to go faster than the speed limit dictates.

Fleet drivers are also more likely to believe that it is more socially acceptable to speed on motorways. In fact, almost seven in 10 (65%) company car drivers feel that it is perfectly acceptable to travel up to 80mph in a 70mph limit. As a result, some 90% say they would like to see the speed limit on motorways increased, compared with 69% of regular motorists.

Commenting on the figures, RAC Business Services director David Aldridge said: ‘With the introduction of next-generation “smart motorways”, where the hard-shoulder is open permanently or during busy periods, and variable speed limits enforced by verge-side speed cameras, there is a real danger that company car drivers may find themselves increasingly on the wrong side of the law and faced with growing numbers of points on their licence. Whilst drivers may feel tempted to save time in the working day by going faster, any fleet manager knows that collecting speeding points is ultimately bad for business.’

Aldridge also advocated the use of telematics by fleets to monitor driver behaviour more closely. He added: ‘This can not only improve driver behaviour but help managers operate a more efficient, cost effective and sustainable fleet.’

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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.