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Belgian drivers the most stressed in Europe and among the most uncivil

Traffic on the Brussels Ring-Nicolas Maeterlinck-Belga
11:15 22/06/2018

One in seven Belgian motorists admits to being stressed when behind the wheel, according to a European study by the Vinci Autoroutes foundation, published by the Belgian road safety Vias Institute.

The percentage of stressed drivers in Belgium was the highest among the 11 countries studied, and twice as high as drivers in the Netherlands (8%). Only 41% of Belgian motorists admitted to remaining calm when driving, compared to 71% in the Netherlands, reports Belga.

According to the Vias Institute, this wide variation was explained by the dense traffic in Belgium and the number of traffic jams.

The lack of calm and increased stress resulted in Belgian drivers being among the greatest users of their car horn (58%). This figure was similar to Italian and Greek drivers, the latter being the European champions (60%). Four out of ten Belgian drivers confessed to overtaking on the right-hand side.

Belgians were also the least respectful of roadwork speed limits, 67%, compared to a European average of 55%. Driving while under the influence of alcohol remained a major problem. Twice as many Belgian drivers get behind the wheel when over the limit compared to their European neighbours.

Bizarrely,  Belgian drivers have a good reputation abroad, with 73% of foreigners attributing them a negative adjective, while the European average was 83%.

Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga

Written by Sarah Crew