Every two hours, the break is necessary. This is a well-known road safety advice that the French approve of. According to a survey carried out for the Prévention Routière association, 87% of French people agree with this recommendation (including 42% totally agree).

Drivers know the benefits of the break. 90% believe that this enhances safety on the roads. After stopping, 88% feel more attentive, 85% feel more relaxed or rested. But there is what we say … and what we do. Do good words hold true in practice?

To find out, Prévention Routière analyzed the behavior of its community, which has nearly 1,500 members (equipped with a dedicated smartphone application). The association observed 1,683 breaks of less than 4 hours on motorway rest areas made by 330 participants. The average duration throughout the year is 14 minutes 45 seconds, or almost the recommended quarter of an hour.

The good point is that the advice seems to resonate better in the heads of drivers in summer, since the average length of the break in summer is longer, at 16 minutes 59 seconds. If drivers are surely less in a hurry on the road to vacation, we imagine that they are also more careful on long journeys that lead to their holiday resort. Moreover, for a quarter, the break lasts more than 31 minutes. However, a shift stops for less than 8 minutes.

The results are on the whole positive, while drowsiness is one of the main causes of fatal accidents on the motorway.


  • Stop regularly: 15 to 20 minutes every two hours.
  • If you feel tired, take a restorative nap.
  • Air the vehicle.
  • Do some exercise: walking, stretching …
  • Remember to hydrate, eat balanced. A study has also proven the value of having a coffee. Do not consume alcohol.
  • If possible, pass the wheel to another driver.
  • Do not set a time of arrival, which adds pressure and encourages people not to stop.