BigChange founder Martin Port

Company bosses are UK’s most dangerous drivers

BigChange Thorpe Park Leeds
Leeds, UK, 27 September 2018 – New research from BigChange, the mobile workforce management technology company, has revealed that company bosses are more likely to have a chequered driving history than people at any other rung on the corporate ladder.

The research, which was conducted by Opinium and published to coincide with the launch of Leaders for Life, a new campaign to help business leaders promote safer driving at work, shows that people are more reckless at the wheel as they rise the corporate ladder. While just nine percent of workers with no managerial responsibility have incurred a driving ban, the number jumps to 12 percent for middle managers and more than doubles for board level executives (25 percent).

Chief Executives and Managing Directors are the worst offenders, with more than half having received bans (51 percent). This compares to less than one in five (16 percent) commercial van drivers and just 12 percent of all people who drive on company business. Chief Executives and Managing Directors were also likely to have accrued the most penalty points, averaging 4.8 and 3.7 points respectively on their licenses. By contrast, the average van driver has accrued 2.7 points.

A third (32 percent) of all board level executives surveyed admitted to speeding at least once a week, while a quarter (25 percent) said they used a mobile phone while driving on a weekly basis. One in five (20 percent) admitted to driving while tired on a regular basis.

The level of bans can’t simply be attributed to upper management being older and therefore more likely to have accrued penalty points over time. Regardless of rank, people aged 18-34 were twice as likely to admit to have been banned from driving (28 percent) as 35-54 year olds (14 percent).

Almost half of BMW drivers have been banned before

The study also revealed that some drivers of premium car brands conformed to negative stereotypes. 42 percent of BMW drivers have at one point been served a driving ban, alongside 41 percent of Audi drivers. By contrast, just nine percent of people who drive Mercedes-Benz cars and 13 percent of Ford drivers have been banned previously.

Martin Port, CEO of BigChange, comments:

« Whether it’s the stress of work, trying to fit too much into the day or simply something in the nature of business leaders that makes us drive too fast, this research confirms our suspicions that busy bosses are at high risk of engaging in poor driving practices. These create unacceptable levels of risk and set a poor example to others in our organisations. Businesses recognise that if you can measure it you can manage it, so we are highlighting the bad driving of leaders to show that we can all improve our own driving and take steps to encourage greater road safety throughout our organisations. »

Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at Brake, comments:

« Speeding and mobile phone use are illegal and highly dangerous driving behaviours which can all too easily result in devastating consequences. Business leaders should be setting an example to their workforce when behind the wheel and that’s why the Leaders for Life campaign is so important. Nearly a third of all road deaths involve someone driving for work and that won’t change until business leaders take charge of their own driving habits and those of their employees. This research shows that anyone that gets behind the wheel can be guilty of dangerous driving, and business leaders must do more to manage the behaviour of everyone who drives on their behalf. »

About Leaders for Life

The Department for Transport published figures today revealing that there were 1,793 reported road deaths in Britain in 2017, five a day on average, and 170,993 casualties of all severities.

Leaders for Life is a new campaign, created by BigChange and backed by the road safety charity Brake, to raise awareness of the contribution business leaders play as role models for road safety and reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads.

BigChange is providing its driving analysis technology free of charge to business leaders so that aspects such as speed, braking, acceleration and cornering can be evaluated. It will provide confidential feedback on leaders’ driving habits and donate £1,000 each month to Brake on behalf of the best and most improved drivers.

BigChange aims to recruit more than 1,000 business leaders to support its campaign by acting as role models for road safety by the end of the year. Des Evans OBE, formerly managing director of MAN Truck & Bus UK, Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association, and the British racing driver Nic Hamilton are among the leaders who have already agreed to take part in the campaign.

Business leaders wishing to be ambassadors for safer driving can register to support the Leaders for Life campaign at https://www.bigchangeapps.com/leadersforlife/.