European bad driving: French least likely to indicate

A new report on European driving has found people admitting to all sorts of errors and bad driving

How would you rate driving standards in France? A new report on European driving behaviour has found that the French are least likely to indicate, the Germans most likely to speed, and the Spanish most likely to honk.

The online poll, from motorway management company La Fondations Vinci Autoroutes and survey agency Ipsos, found that the vast majority of drivers from across 11 European countries admitted to regularly breaking the rules of the road.

It asked 11,038 people aged 15 and over - depending on driving age - including at least 1,000 people in each of the 11 countries polled.

Drivers in Mediterranean countries - such as Greece, Spain, Italy and France - were widely considered to be the most “disrespectful”, while the Swedish were deemed the most “courteous”, followed by the Slovakians and the British.

The French were found to be the least likely to indicate (63% admitted to not doing this), while the Germans were most likely to speed on the motorway (93% admitted to this).

Over two thirds of the Swedish (78%) admitted to not respecting safe distances between themselves and the car in front when driving, while the Spanish were most likely to hoot their car horn (66%) at anyone who annoyed them on the road.

Almost half (49%) the Greeks admitted to driving without their seatbelt on, and almost two thirds (71%) said they did not hesitate to insult other drivers - or even physically “cut them up” on the road - if irritated.

Over two fifths (41%) said that they use a GPS sat nav system while driving, and 30% admitted to using their phone without a hands-free system installed. Even more (24%) said that they had written texts or read emails while driving - a figure that rose to 38% among people aged under 35.

Even more worryingly, the Poles were the most likely (29%) to get out of their car to verbally confront someone who had annoyed them, while more seriously still, 28% of Greeks said they had got behind the wheel while over the drink-driving limit (0.5g/l).

The poll comes as driving behaviour and safety comes in for scrutiny in France.

From July, the national speed limit on over 400,000km of road will reduce from 90kph to 80kph, in a highly-controversial government change - part of 18 new “road safety” measures to be imposed by the government.

Similarly, in February this year, the Court of Appeal ruled that it was illegal to speak on your phone while in your car on a road - without a hands free system - even if your car is pulled over and stopped.

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