Company car drivers more likely to speed

This is the news from RAC’s Report on Motoring 2014 report which found that almost two-thirds of company car drivers claim to reach speeds of 80mph on motorways, almost double that of regular motorists. Company car drivers were almost three times more likely to hit 90mph or more, with 8 per cent admitting exceeding 90mph, compared to only 3 per cent of regular drivers.

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

The RAC research highlights that there is an overall perception among many business motorists that it is somehow more socially acceptable to speed on motorways than it is on any other roads. In fact, almost 7 in 10 company car drivers feel that it is perfectly acceptable to travel up to 80mph in a 70mph limit. As a result, some 90 per cent say they would like to see the speed limit on motorways increased, compared with nearly seventy per cent of regular motorists.

Despite this, government plans to conduct an objective trial to understand the safety, environmental and economic advantages and disadvantages of raising the speed limit to 80mph on appropriate stretches of motorway have been shelved.

With no change to national speed limits for motorways in the pipeline and company car drivers the worst culprits for motorway speeding, the RAC is urging fleet managers to monitor their drivers’ speed compliance more closely.

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.