Drivers Spend 70 Days a Year Stuck Behind the Wheel

Drivers Spend 70 Days a Year Stuck Behind the Wheel  

on 05/16/2007

Increased congestion on the roads means that the average UK driver spends a minimum of 70 days a year sitting behind the wheel of their car on company business. The figure amounts to almost a third of their working year, something which is costing UK businesses millions of pounds a year in wasted productivity, according to a new survey by Bank of Scotland Vehicle Finance. However, despite spending so long in their vehicles, it would appear that UK drivers still love their cars. In fact women love their cars so much that they rank them higher than profit share bonus scheme, holiday allowance, flexi working time, healthcare provision and even a pension scheme!

Now in its sixth year, the survey also revealed that despite spending so long in their vehicles, the majority of drivers would still never use public transport. The results surprisingly highlight that 80 per cent of respondents say that their companies don’t actively encourage the use of alternative modes of transport for business journeys.

In total three quarters of respondents said they would never dream of taking a bus on a business trip and over a third said catching a train would be out of the question also. The train is only used occasionally by just of half of those surveyed.

When asked to explain their reasons the majority of people simply said that they weren’t encouraged to use public transport by their employer. Others stated that it just wasn’t convenient enough, was too expensive and the possibility of delays put them off.

Sean Bingham, Director of New Business at Bank of Scotland Vehicle Finance isn’t surprised at the findings. He comments: “There is certainly a clear lack of direction by employers when it comes to encouraging alternative modes of transport. Whilst drivers often enjoy the comfort that their own vehicle provides it is becoming evident that employers need to adopt a more flexible approach when it comes to travel arrangements. This is especially true when you take into account that over half of the drivers we surveyed said they weren’t comfortable making or receiving calls in their vehicle, even when using a hands free kit. That’s certainly a lot of business time wasted.”

Other key results from the survey show:

Time Spent in the Car

- Overall, annual business mileage has dropped by more than 10% to just over 14,000 miles. However, over the last year we have seen an increase in the time drivers spend behind the wheel, indicating that increased congestion on the road could certainly be to blame. This is a finding supported by Trafficmaster which recently reported a 33% increase in congestion on the UK ’s motorways (October 2006) when compared to September 2005. In fact the busiest motorways, such as the M6 (Junctions 4 and 11a), saw a dramatic 106% increase, and the M1 between M25 and Leicester, saw a 75% increase in congestion

- Nearly one in five said they now had a longer commute to work compared to the same time last year

- The increased time spent behind the wheel has certainly affected driving. Female drivers said that increased time behind the wheel had improved the quality of their driving, whilst male drivers said the quality of their driving had actually worsened as a result

- Over 90% of respondents would have, or would consider opting for a dual fuel vehicle, a huge increase over last years’ 36%. However, when asked if their company encouraged them to use alternative fuels only 16% said yes, highlighting the fact that it’s the businesses themselves that need to review their green policies when it comes to fleet management.

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