More than half of men admit to speeding when driving on business and one in 10 have confessed to being at one time or another, or suspect they have been, over the legal alcohol limit when driving for work.
The poll for British health and safety consultancy Croner found that women were much more conscientious business drivers – with four out of 10 admitting to speeding and one per cent to drink driving.
Croner has forecast that these figures will in all likelihood soar over the Christmas period, as workers are tempted to drive home after office or client parties.
Nasar Farooq, Croner safety technical manager, said: "Driving can be one of the most dangerous work activities and a worrying number of employees surveyed admit to taking risks.
"Of the 3,600 fatalities every year on British roads, between 800 and 1,000 involve people driving for work purposes, with the Christmas period notorious for accidents.
"Women or young people are often accused of being the worst drivers, but our survey shows that statistically it's more likely to be a senior male manager who will break the law than a junior member of staff, with men in the over 50 age group clearly revealed as the most irresponsible drivers," he added.
There was a common misconception among employers regarding their responsibilities for work driving, he argued.
"Employers shouldn't be fooled that they are only responsible for employees driving company cars, as safety law covers any vehicle which is used for work purposes.
"We are alerting employers to ensure their staff understand the rules over work driving before they get behind the wheel this Christmas.
"Employers who don't have a comprehensive occupational driving policy in place risk hefty fines, but more importantly the lives of their employees," he concluded.