‘Risky driving and failure to respect the rules’ are on the increase across Europe, according to a survey of 10,000 drivers published today (1 April).
The annual survey*, carried out by IPSOS on behalf of VINCI Autoroutes Foundation for Responsible Driving*, looks at the behaviour of drivers from 10 European countries and their perception of themselves and others at the wheel.
It suggests that British drivers are the fourth most pessimistic of the nations surveyed, in terms of believing that the number of road fatalities will fall in the coming years (51%, against an overall result of 55%).
Across Europe, drivers believe that the main causes of fatal accidents on the roads to be alcohol or drugs (62%), inattention, such as using a mobile phone (53%), followed by speeding (44%).
In contrast to the overall results, those surveyed in the UK believed that not paying attention, for example using a mobile phone while driving, is the main cause of fatal road accidents (59%).
Those surveyed in the UK considered sending text messages while driving to be significantly more risky than those from the nine other European countries (UK 42%, overall 29%).
91% of those surveyed across Europe admitted to exceeding the speed limit by a few m/hour, an increase in all countries polled in 2014, most notably the UK (92%, +3) Sweden (95%, +8 points) and Belgium (94%, +8 points).
When it comes to mobile phone use, the survey suggests British drivers are more cautious that their European counterparts. 37% of British drivers said they use a phone with a hands-free kit, compared with 67% of Greeks, and 65% of Poles and Italians.
And 16% of British drivers admit to using a phone without a hands-free kit, compared to 59% of Poles and 48% of Swedish drivers.
The 10 countries in which the survey was conducted are UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Poland and Netherlands. In each case slightly over 1,000 drivers were polled.
The VINCI Autoroutes Foundation for Responsible Driving is a laboratory/observatory focused on improving road safety. It aims to help bring about changes in driver behaviour and to encourage drivers to contribute to their own safety and to that of other road users.