Drivers blame speeding on 'work schedules'

Published 26 January 2014

A survey of drivers across Europe has found more than a third blame 'pressure of work schedules' for speeding.

The study of motorists in Britain, France, Germany and Spain conducted by MiX Telematics has revealed that 63% of all drivers admit to speeding while driving for work, with more than a third (34 per cent) admitting they speed every week.

When asked why they do it, the most common responses were 'keeping up with traffic flow' (53 per cent) and 'pressure to meet schedules' (37 per cent). Among drivers in France responding to this question, 27 per cent reported that their speeding was due to a lack of concentration. This response was almost double that of drivers in the other countries, the next nearest being Germany, where 14 per cent of drivers blame concentration lapses.

In terms of where drivers speed, more than 40% of all drivers who admit to speeding while driving for work said they do so on motorways, main roads and in urban areas. There were, however, some significant differences among these drivers, with drivers in Britain saying they are most likely to speed on motorways (63 per cent), drivers in Germany on main inter-urban roads and drivers in France and Spain reporting that the likelihood of them speeding is approximately equal regardless of the type of road upon which they are travelling.

Overall, drivers reckon that there’s only a small chance of serious consequences for exceeding the speed limit. Should there be a consequence, drivers reported that 'Being stopped by the police' is the most likely.  Across the four countries, 'Causing harm to others' and 'Causing harm to myself' were rated at just 14 per cent and 13 per cent respectively, slightly behind 'Losing my driving licence', which scored 16 per cent.

In terms of drivers being fined for exceeding the speed limit over the past 12 months, truck drivers led the way with 17 per cent receiving penalties, compared to 14 per cent of van drivers, 12 per cent of bus and coach drivers and nine per cent of passenger vehicle drivers.  In most cases, the driver was far more likely to pay the fine than his/her employer, the only exception being bus and coach drivers where the split was 50-50.

In terms of the country in which speeding fines are most commonly handed out, Britain leads the way, narrowly trumping Spain, France and Germany, respectively.

Of the survey respondents that admitted to speeding while driving for work, a significant proportion of both men and women appeared to be unaware of the dangers of speeding; although, almost twice as many men as women (29 per cent vs 17 per cent) stated that they believe they can drive safely while speeding.

Analysed by country, only 20 per cent of all drivers in Germany stated that they do not speed while driving for work. Drivers in Spain claim to be the most well-behaved, with 40 per cent saying they never exceed the speed limit. Drivers in Britain came a close second, with 39 per cent saying they never speed, while French drivers recorded a score of 34 per cent in this respect.

"The knowledge that two-thirds of drivers in Britain, France, Germany and Spain routinely speed while going about their employer's business is a concern to companies in each of these countries," said Steve Coffin, marketing and operations director for MiX Telematics (Europe). "Our survey also found that more than three quarters of all drivers – 77 per cent – receive no training whatsoever related to speeding while driving for work.

"Of the 23 per cent of drivers who have received training, the majority were truck or bus and coach drivers. Within this group, 82 per cent stated that their training had a positive influence on their driving behaviour. An overwhelming majority reported that they are now more conscious of their speed as well as their acceleration, braking and gear-changing, resulting in a smoother driving experience. In addition, 33 per cent reported avoidance of excessive idling."



jonathan_smith    on 27 January 2014

It's not hard to break unrealistically low limits. Driving at 70 on a motorway for hundreds of miles is stupendously dull. When are we finally going to abandon our penchant for archaic speed limits?

It is also interesting to note that truck drivers are getting fined. This must mean most offences are taking place on single carriageways or urban roads, as their rigs are prevented from even reaching the legal limit on motorways. It seems perverse to force a situation where they can only recover time on the most dangerous roads, rather than the most safe.

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