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Worst drivers in Europe?

Vinci Autoroutes Foundation in France has published the results of its 13th "Survey of Responsible Driving", a study carried out by Ipsos in 11 European countries which looks at the behaviour and safety of Europeans at the wheel.

To carry out the survey, Ipsos questioned via the Internet, 12,400 people aged 16 and over, including 2,400 French people and at least 1,000 people in each of the 10 other countries surveyed (Germany, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Sweden).The 2023 edition of this study shows that the French are increasingly bad drivers, often surpassing the European average in dangerous behaviour on the road. In fact, good driving practices are less and less respected, and many prohibited uses are practised on a daily basis by French motorists.

For example, 74% of French drivers use their phone while driving, 49% set their GPS while driving, 30% send and read text messages or e-mails, and 8% even watch movies or videos on their smartphone. Finally, 83% admit that they sometimes take their eyes off the road for more than 2 seconds, which is equivalent, at 130 km/h, to travelling at least 72 metres “blind”. In addition, certain dangerous behaviours are always adopted on the road: 9% of French drivers admit driving under the influence of alcohol, and 4% having taken drugs. In addition, 13% of drivers say that they sometimes do not fasten their seat belt, 68% do not respect the safety distances, 49% drive in the middle lane when the right lane is free, and almost 9 motorists out of 10 (89%) exceed the speed limit by a few km/h The study reveals an even more worrying fact, since in recent years there has been a real upsurge in bad manners at the wheel. However, drivers do not seem to be aware of adopting a bad habit: 97% cite at least one positive adjective to describe their own behaviour (vigilant, calm, courteous, etc.), and yet 85% of drivers cite at least one adjective negative to describe the behaviour of others (aggressive, stressed, dangerous, etc.).

In fact, 89% of drivers say they fear the aggressiveness of others behind the wheel, which corresponds to a 10 year record high –but in the rest of Europe, this rate is 84%. And most incivilities are more common in France: 68% of French people admit to insulting other drivers (compared to 52% in Europe), 59% of French people honk their horns at other road users who annoy them (vs. 50%), and 35% deliberately drive too close to vehicles that irritate them (vs. 32%).

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