The fleet industry could soon face an obesity epidemic according to a poll on drivers’ eating habits conducted by The Fuelcard Company to raise awareness of heart disease among business drivers on World Heart Day.
When asked about the types of food consumed on the move, a shocking 88 percent of drivers said they ate mainly fast food and convenience snacks such crisps and sweets in their vehicles.
The poll also revealed that motorists are flouting the law on a daily basis when it comes to eating behind the wheel, with 26 percent of those polled admitting they ate and drove every day and 19 percent saying they succumbed to the habit on a weekly basis. Just 12 percent of respondents said they never ate while driving.
Jakes de Kock, sales and marketing director at The Fuelcard Company, said such unhealthy eating habits needed to be addressed or drivers who spend long periods on the road could be at a serious risk of developing health problems caused by obesity.
“These survey results are shocking on two levels. Not only are drivers appearing to fall into a dangerous habit of regularly eating while driving, which can seriously affect reaction times and reduce awareness levels, but they have extremely unhealthy eating habits which is a real concern especially for business drivers who spend a large portion of their day on the road.”
The Fuelcard Company survey revealed that just 12 percent of motorists consumed fruit or healthy snacks in their vehicles and only 5 percent ate their own home-made packed lunches.
“Currently there is not enough emphasis on driver health and fitness among fleet companies and more needs to be done to promote wellbeing in the industry,” continued de Kock.
“Managers need to be much more stringent when it comes to ensuring their drivers take regular breaks and clearer guidelines need to be established on diet and activity levels. When drivers are spending long hours on the road, remaining alert and aware is a key challenge and eating the right food can play a key role in maintaining energy levels.”