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European motorists are too confident and increasingly aggressive

 - 29/04/2019

They may see themselves as calm and careful, but they admit to dangerous behaviour and are becoming more and more aggressive: behind the driving wheel, excessive confidence and self-satisfaction reign undisputed among European drivers, according to a survey published by Ipsos.

Motorists from 11 countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the UK) were questioned for the 6th European Responsible Driving Barometer, carried out by Ipsos for the Vinci Motorway Foundation.
Ahead of drink driving, drugs and excess speed, inattentive driving is the number one cause of death (54%) according to Europeans.
Motorists are struggling to adopt appropriate driving behaviour, due to the invasion of connected objects in recent years. Although 97% considered that it was dangerous to send text messages while driving, one out of four admitted to doing so (24%). When asked about this paradox, they “replied that they were confident in their driving ability,” said Bernadette Moreau, representative of the foundation, who condemned this “blatant excess of confidence”.
Unashamed Bluetooth users, the Greeks and Italians (60%), and the Polish, 57% of whom adjust their GPS while driving, are the most undisciplined, while the British and the Spanish are the most careful. Europeans were also, on the whole, far more indulgent of their own driving than of that of others. 
Rare are those who admit to being “stressed” (10%), “aggressive” (3%), “irresponsible” (1%) or “dangerous” (1%) themselves. Attitudes that they willingly attribute to other motorists: 46% of those questioned consider that their peers are “stressed” (36%), “aggressive” (30%) and “dangerous” (28%).
However, they all admit to dangerous behaviour while driving. 92% of Swedes, speed fans, admit to driving over the authorised speed limits. The French win the failure to indicate championship (61%) and nearly one out of two Greeks (45%) object to buckling up. This chronic lack of discipline nurtures rudeness among motorists.
Motorists are more likely to insult their peers (56%, 2 pts). In the insult-slinging match, the Greeks come first (71%), just ahead of the French (69%), while the more phlegmatic Swedes only score 32%.
Survey carried out by Ipsos from 25 February to 13 March 2019 by internet on a sample of 12,418 people aged 15 and over, with a minimum of 1000 in each country, according to the quota method.

Photos credits: Newspress/BM