News > Speeding, insults, mobile phones: European motorists are all equally at fault

Speeding, insults, mobile phones: European motorists are all equally at fault

 - 25/07/2018

(AFP) - The Swedes and the Germans are speed mad, the Greeks are undisciplined and impulsive and nearly everyone is guilty of using their phone at the wheel: a study has revealed a number of bad driving habits in eleven European countries.

As the reduction in the maximum speed limit to 80km/h on minor roads continues to rage in France, the failure to respect the speed limit is a widespread phenomenon over Europe, according to the 5th European Responsible Driving Barometer.
Indeed, 89% of Europeans admit to driving above the speed limit. The most speed mad (or the most honest) are the Germans and the Swedes, where 93% of motorists admit to speeding. In Sweden, 78% also admit to not respecting safety distances.
 
The Greeks would appear to be the least disciplined in Europe: almost half (49%) said they didn’t always buckle up, 28% admitted driving over the alcohol limit of 0,5g/litre and 27% to driving on the hard shoulder.
They also rank near the top in terms of insults and freely admit swearing at other motorists (71%) or deliberately driving on the tail of other drivers that have annoyed them (52%). In Poland, 29% of motorists claim that they willingly get out of their car to “sort out” disagreements.
Mediterranean motorists (Greece, Spain, Italy, France) are widely perceived to be the least respectful by other European motorists. Bad driving practices cited include the French who don’t use their indicator lights (63%) and the Spanish who frequently hoot (66%) other drivers.
The Swedes are perceived to be the most courteous, ahead of the Slovaks and the British.
 
As everyone sets off on holiday this summer, there is a high probability that Europeans will drive past each other with their eyes glued to their smartphone or GPS, a fault widely shared by all countries: 41% of motorists set their GPS while driving, over one-third (30%) telephone without a hands-free set and one out of four (24%) write or read emails or messages while driving (38% of under-35’s).
 
Study carried out by Ipsos from 19 January to 27 February 2018 among 11,038 people aged 15 years and over, 1,000 of whom minimum resided in each of the 11 countries concerned. The representative nature of the sample was ensured by the quota method.
 

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