‘The Dutch in the middle of European motorists’

At the European level, Dutch motorists score only a six when it comes to how they behave in traffic. Many Dutch people admit various regular violations, although at the same time there is a strong confidence in their own attitude.

A large research by Ipsos among 12,000 Europeans in eleven countries shows that the Dutch end up in the middle when it comes to how safely they drive. The researchers asked drivers to assess their own driving behavior and that of foreigners. The Dutch often drive too fast, often drive through an orange traffic light, keep too little distance and often do not turn on their flashing light when they turn. They see themselves as excellent drivers while they think that road pirates drive around in neighboring countries. This is the conclusion of Ipsos in his research, which was commissioned by the French Fondation Vinci, which is committed to safe traffic.

The British are the best drivers, the Greeks are the worst, according to the survey. Of all the Europeans surveyed, the Dutch most often break speed limits. As many as 91 percent say they sometimes speed. The Dutch are in the top 3 of nationalities (after Belgians and Germans) who continue to drive if there is a stop line on the road. The Dutch also excessively often do not give way to another car if it does have right of way. Is the road under construction? About 58 percent continue at the same speed. Is the right lane clear on the highway? About 56 percent just keep driving in the middle. Almost one in five Dutch people text or email while driving. We also overtake more often than the average European on the right. A frequently cited reason for breaking rules is that the rules are often ‘not logical’ or ‘not appropriate’ to the situation on the road.

The Dutch nevertheless rate their own driving behavior positively in relation to drivers from other European countries. People find themselves relatively ‘careful’ and ‘calm’ behind the wheel. According to many, in the countries around us they are not doing well: other Europeans are described as ‘irresponsible’, ‘stressed’ and ‘aggressive’ on the motorway. Perhaps there is a small grain of truth in it: the study shows that, on average, the Dutch do not quickly become verbally or physically aggressive towards other road users. That while in Poland, for example, people indicate that they relatively often get out for a direct confrontation and in France, calling names on other road users is sometimes even described as ‘national hobby’.

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