Fleet News

Road rage hits firms’ images

Company reputations are being put at risk due to a significant rise in aggressive driving by at-work drivers.

Road rage is seen as one of the biggest changes in motoring over the past 20 years by company car drivers, along with the cost of motoring, congestion and speed cameras.

More than one in three business car drivers responding to RAC research say they have been a victim of driving behaviour that has left them feeling physically threatened.

Yet more than half – 55% – admit to shouting, swearing and making rude gestures at other motorists themselves.

The stressful conditions caused by drivers who, for example, fail to signal in time, tailgate or use mobile phones while driving, are also prompting more than 20% of fleet drivers to say that driving is now less pleasurable than in 1988.

In its 20th annual Report on Motoring, published this week, the RAC called for better training to ensure employees know how to drive responsibly and respectfully and avoid such behaviour damaging company reputations.

The organisation believes the key to achieving this is through training that instils courtesy and respect as part of company culture.

“As numbers of cars and drivers on our roads increase, so will the motoring frustrations that lead to aggressive driver behaviour – unless we all make a conscious effort to respect our fellow road users,” said Adrian Tink, RAC motoring strategist.

“All eyes are focused on rising fuel prices, which clearly affect the bottom line of any fleet business, but there’s another menace on our roads that we can control – behaviour. It’s worrying that millions of motorists are victims of a driving behaviour that didn’t even have a name 20 years ago.

“Better training may make employees driving on business think twice about the effect their own behaviour has on their company, as well as others, while having the knock-on effect of making their own experience more pleasurable,” added Mr Tink.

The report shows, however, that stress and fuel prices are not yet pushing company car drivers off the road.

Ninety-four per cent of respondents said Britain remains a car-dependent society, while 76% of company car drivers say they would find it very difficult to adjust their current lifestyles to being without a car.

In fact, more than half of respondents agreed that they spent more time in their company car than previously, with 43% saying they are reliant on their car for more journeys and more than a third commuting longer distances to work.

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