Drivers on business trips more likely to take risks, finds new research

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French drivers on work-related journeys are more likely to take risks behind the wheel, according to new research from Axa.

French motorway

Drivers on business trips more likely to take risks

According to the AXA Prevention Barometer, business drivers are more likely to use their mobile phones, speed or drive while fatigued.

In response to the findings, AXA Prévention has launched a package of services for businesses to prevent road risks, including risk assessment and a communication kit to raise awareness for its employees using video, emails, posters and leaflets on the dangers related to speed, alcohol, drowsiness and smartphones in particular.

The research found that 8 in 10 drivers on professional journeys use their smartphione compared to 6 out of 10 for all French drivers.

Of this figure, 65% call (vs 39% for all French), 36% send or read text messages (vs 24%) and 58% follow a route on their smartphone’s sat nav (vs 40%).

Business drivers are also more likely to drive while tired. A total of 76% drive at night, between 10pm and 5am for long journeys (vs 58% for all French people). In addition, 52% drive while they feel tired (vs. 45%). In addition, these drivers neglect breaks with 43% driving without stopping when travelling between 4 or 5 hours in a row (vs 34%).

The survey also found that 9 out of 10 speed on business trips compared to 82% for all French. When it comes to moderate speeding – in the region of 20 km/h above the speed limit – this was widespread.

On the motorway, 17% of business drivers drove at over 160 km/h (vs 11%) and 54% at 140-150 km/h (vs 46%). Risk taking is even more important on the secondary network where 29% travel at 120/130 km/h (vs 23%) and 66% at 100 – 110 km/h (vs 51%).

Finally, 30% of drivers drove after drinking more than 2 glasses of alcohol (vs 22% for all French). And 7% get behind the wheel after drinking 4 or 5 drinks (vs. 4%).

The study was carried out before legal changes that now require companies in France to reveal who was driving a company vehicle in the case of an infraction such as a speeding ticket.

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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.