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Beeping, insults: The regions of France with the rudest drivers

A new poll also found issues such as overtaking on the right and 74% admitting to using their phone while driving – with poor habits now back to pre-pandemic levels

A man shouting out his driving seat car window

Reported issues included trading insults with other drivers, and overtaking on the right Pic: Lopolo / Shutterstock

Drivers in Ile-de-France have topped a ranking of the rudest motorists in the country, swiftly followed by Occitanie – with horn beeping and insults flying between drivers among the major issues reported.

The Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region came in third place, followed by Marseille and the Paca region in fourth.

The results come from an Ipsos poll for motorway company Vinci Autoroutes, which questioned people in France on their driving behaviour.*

Reported issues included: 

  • Horn beeping

  • Insults between drivers

  • Drivers getting out of their vehicles to shout at others

  • Overtaking on the right

In addition, despite mobile phone use being illegal while driving in France (even using a hands-free set), the poll found: 

  • 74% use their phone often when driving

  • Of these, 61% do so to talk on the phone (including 42% who do this regularly)

  • 31% to read or send texts

  • 11% to take part in work meetings while driving

  • 8% to watch a film or video

The poll also found that 46% of drivers continue to drive even when they feel very tired, and 16% said they had already had (or nearly had) an accident because they were falling asleep at the wheel.

Bernadette Moreau, general delegate of Vinci Autoroutes, said that reports of antisocial behaviour while driving had reached pre-pandemic levels, after a slight drop during the health crisis.

She told Le Parisien: “We had seen, through our 2021 barometer, a very slight downturn in the number of incidents, which was certainly the consequence of the Covid period, with fewer traffic jams on the roads and therefore less reason to get angry.” 

“Unfortunately, it seems that we are now back to the bad habits of before lockdown.”

*Ipsos Vinci Autoroutes poll, conducted online from March 5-21, 2022, on a representative sample of 2,400 French people aged 16 and over (mainland, not including Corsica).

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