If you thought Belgians were polite and law-abiding drivers… think again!
Sixty percent of Belgian drivers go too fast in roadworks and more than half of them “forget” to use their indicators, according to a study published on Tuesday by the Vinci foundation, which looked at the behavior of dangerous traffic through Europe.
Only 47% of Belgian drivers consider themselves calm behind the wheel, while Spaniards top this ranking, with 69% of drivers considering themselves relaxed.
According to the study, more than half of Belgian drivers also honk their horns aggressively in traffic (on a par with Italians). Among those in the countries studied, only the Spaniards and the Greeks honk their horns more than the Belgians.
The study also shows that while 9% of drivers in Europe admit driving while underestimating the influence of alcohol, this figure rises to 19% in Belgium. The Vinci study was carried out by the French statistics institute Ipsos in 11 European countries in March.
The Greeks are the champions in insulting other drivers, followed by the French and the Germans. Poles admit that they most often get out of their vehicle to argue with other drivers, followed by Italians and Greeks.
Meanwhile, the Belgian traffic institute Vias on Tuesday called on Belgium to introduce a driving license with points as soon as possible.
According to the study, “Belgium lags behind at European level in terms of control and sanctioning of so-called minor road offences, which are not so minor as that, since they include speeding up to 160 km /h on the highway […]drunk driving […] and mobile phone use while driving,” said Benoit Godard, spokesperson for Vias.
Godard added that most other EU countries have some form of point-based driving license to combat dangerous driving. The traffic institute now wants the Belgians to get in step.
According to a spokesman for the Minister of Mobility, Georges Gilkinet, sponsor of the Vias study: “Belgium is one of the countries in the world where automobile congestion is the greatest. There are too many cars on our roads and too many traffic jams.