A survey of 10,000 drivers published on April 1st by VINCI Autoroutes Foundation for Responsible Driving suggests that ‘risky driving and failure to respect the rules’ are on the increase across Europe. The survey was conducted across 10 countries: Greece, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Germany, France and UK.
Every year the annual survey is carried out on behalf of VINCI Autoroutes Foundation for Responsible Driving and it looks closely at the driving behaviours of vehicle owners from across Europe and it also looks at their perception of themselves and others behind the wheel.
Looking more closely at the statistics they reveal that British drivers rank as the fourth most pessimistic in terms of believing that the number of road fatalities will fall in the coming years, with 51% agreeing compared to an overall of 55%.
Figures from across Europe also show that drivers believe that the main cause of fatal accidents is alcohol or drug consumption, with 62% stating this, whilst inattention comes in high too with actions such as using a mobile phone coming in at 53% and speeding at 44%. Looking individually at the UK again, UK drivers put inattention higher than other nations, with 58% that it is the main cause of fatal road accidents and they also considered sending text messages far more risky than the rest of Europe, with 42% of Brits considering it highly risky compared to 29% over all.
Shockingly 91% of everybody surveyed across the whole of Europe admitted to exceeding the speed limit a little, which showed an increase on those admitting to speeding in 2014. The largest increases year on year were seen in the UK where 92% admitted exceeding speed limits, Sweden where 95% did and Belgium where 94% did.
Mobile phone use seems to be a big issue in the UK, perhaps because of the laws in place, and this shows in the finding that only 16% of British drivers admit to using a phone without a hands-free kit whilst 67% of Greeks and 65% of Italians and Poles say the same. This shows at least that whilst 16% of people in the UK acting illegally is wrong, it’s a far cry from the situation in the rest of Europe.
The figures in general show that drivers across Europe are flouting laws and driving recklessly and in a way that could endanger lives. This rise in the number of people willing to speed, even a single mile over the speed limit, is something that needs to be focused on and clamped down on. Speed limits exist for a reason as do the other laws protecting our roads and not sticking to the rules means you’re at much higher risk of accident or injury.