Half of UK Drivers Will Only Take a Break After 3 Hours of Driving

Our latest research has found that half of UK drivers will only stop and take a break after at least 3 hours of driving.

According to the Highway Code from the Department of Transport, you must take sufficient breaks whilst driving; it recommends a minimum rest of 15 minutes after every 2 hours of travelling to prevent feeling tired behind the wheel. However, our findings show that 48% of UK motorists will only pull over after at least 3 hours of driving, 6% of which usually do not stop at all!

Breaking this percentage down, 31% (the majority) will pause to stretch their legs every 3 hours, 8% will stop every 4 hours, 3% only after 4 hours and a worrying 6% claim that they do not take breaks whilst driving. As such, half of the UK’s motorists are driving for at least an hour longer than recommended, which could significantly affect the driver’s awareness on the road and increase the chances of collisions, particularly at night.

In terms of age, on average, younger motorists will break less often than their elders when driving long distance. Only 45% of those aged 18-34 will break within 2 hours of driving, whereas 47% of motorists aged 35-54 and 61% of those aged over 55 said the same.

Location wise, Edinburgh and Brighton have the highest percentage of drivers taking fewer breaks than they should, as only 43% are pulling over within 1-2 hours. In contrast, motorists in Sheffield are much more likely to stop earlier in their travels, with 71% pausing within 2 hours. By far, Belfast has the highest percentage of drivers admitting that they tend to avoid taking breaks when on the road, with a staggering 21%.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “Whilst you may still feel fully alert after driving for a couple of hours, it is essential to take a break and refresh yourself. The chances of having an accident will sharply increase as soon as the body grows tired, so always take some time to pull over and stretch the legs when travelling long distances.”