There are a host of different rules governing driving practices from one country to another. As a result, business travellers appear to commit numerous infringements and errors while behind the wheel abroad. But such slip-ups can be avoided simply via better preparation.

Are business travellers bottom of the class on foreign roads? Not quite maybe, but there is a problem, as highlighted by this study from car hire company Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Poor preparation

When asked whether they were suitably prepared to drive overseas in a work capacity, 70% of the business travellers said they were. On closer inspection, however, this assertion raises a smile, as for half of them, the preparation process consists of little more than remembering to bring their sunglasses with them! So only half of them bother to check out local driving rules online or via their car hire firm. And there are plenty other examples of this lack of planning: a third of drivers admit they don’t know the emergency number to call in the event of an accident, a quarter aren’t sure what equipment they’re legally obliged to carry in the vehicle, and nearly half aren’t aware of in which situations use of their horn is permitted. Worse still, 20% of drivers don’t even know if the speed limits are indicated in kilometres or miles per hour, while 31% have no knowledge of local drink-driving limits.

Alarming practices

And to make matters worse? The bad habits of business travellers are also identified as another risk factor. For instance, 27% admit to having used their mobile phones at the wheel without a hands-free kit, 20% have written text messages while driving, and 10% say they have even sent e-mails.

Inevitable consequences

It’s not surprising then that 50% of drivers quizzed said they had been penalised for road traffic offences abroad, receiving fines for speeding, not having a parking ticket, misusing their horn, illegal parking, etc. And over half (56%) had previously been involved in at least one accident overseas. So consider yourself warned… And just as well, since a driver forewarned is a driver forearmed!

Source: study “Driving Abroad” conducted by the Research Now institute among 556 business travellers in France, the UK, Spain, Germany and Ireland, June 2016.