Weblog Ken – Dutch drivers are the most relaxed, Belgian drivers are the most stressed

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The 14th traffic barometer of the Vinci Foundation is a fact. This shows that there are still major behavioral differences between European directors, not least between Dutch and Belgian ones.

In the month of May, the Fondation VINCI Autoroutes traditionally publishes the report of its annual survey into (ir)responsible driving behavior, conducted among 12,413 drivers in 11 European countries. The general trend is for negativity in traffic to increase, resulting in more egocentrism and road rage.

Belgium, together with Italy, are the worst in the class

With this sample, the foundation annually makes a European ranking of motorists according to traffic attention, courtesy and aggression. One of the most striking conclusions is that traffic perception differs enormously between Dutch and Belgian motorists. Only 8% of Dutch people in the survey claim to experience stress in traffic, while in Belgium this is more than half. This means that the Belgians are keeping pace with Italy, which has long been known for its impatient motorists. It is so bad that only 44% of Belgians surveyed can remain calm in traffic, which is the worst score in all of Europe according to the Vinci Foundation.

The research does make a difference between stress and aggression in traffic. Fortunately, in Belgium the first does not automatically lead to the second, at least not as often as in France or Germany. In this respect, Belgians are more likely to be in the middle bracket and are therefore relatively tolerant of other road users. However, specialists point out that stress often leads to anxiety behind the wheel, resulting in more mistakes. As a result, there is also a lot of honking in Belgium, which, together with the Greeks, ranks second in the horn chart. This is also the reason why unnecessary honking is a first-degree offense in Belgium, resulting in a fine of 58 euros.

High traffic density, lots of transit traffic

If these are the facts, then the question naturally arises as to what the causes of the poor Belgian odds are. The problem is believed to be based on traffic density: too many cars in a relatively small area, combined with a huge amount of transit traffic. Add to that an abundance of roadworks and you get the perfect cocktail for stress in traffic. In other words, in Belgium you never know whether you will get to your destination on time, regardless of the weather or the day of the week.

Yet there are also deeper reasons to point out, which parallel the negativity in the world. Since the pandemic, aggression in Belgium has generally increased. This is evident from the number of reports of intimate partner and street violence, but also from testimonies of emergency services and medical staff who are confronted with it every day. Even this writer got into trouble with another road user last week for the first time in 30 years of commuting… You can read all about it in the next edition of AutoWeek, which will be on the shelves from Wednesday, May 29!

– Thanks for information from Autoweek.nl

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