Confused.com has asked if it's finally time for the UK's driving laws to fall in line with Europe, with two thirds (66%) of Brits' experiencing some form of motoring mishap when travelling abroad.
British holidaymakers have long been labelled the blight of the European holiday season, but new research from car insurance expert Confused.com, has revealed a different side to the 'bawdy Brits'. Nearly three quarters (73%) of Britons who will drive abroad this summer have a fear of foreign roads because of confusing foreign road signs, driving habits and cross-country law changes.
Far from being a falsified phobia, the fear of driving on the continent exists for good reason. According to the research, one in five (20%) road trips from Britain to Europe end in a crash or bump, and an overwhelming two-thirds (66%) experience some form of motoring mishap.
This is worrying news for the 25% of British motorists who drive abroad each summer without checking they have adequate insurance. The current trend shows that a quarter of British motorists casually assume that their UK policy automatically covers them on foreign soil when in fact their policy may not be as comprehensive as while driving at home.
With so many blissful summer breaks turning into holiday horrors, it's not surprising that British motorists want to alleviate their euro nightmares. Driving on the right is the number one fear for more than a third (39%) of UK drivers, and one in five of us (19%) confess to having driven on the wrong side of the road abroad.
The debate over left vs. right is intricate and complicated, and while switching the UK from left to right overnight is perhaps a step too far, the British public feel that standardising Europe's drink-driving laws is a must, and soon.
Nearly half (47%) of Brits who have driven in Europe are strongly in favour of introducing uniform drink-driving limits. 27% believe that standardising European driving laws would reduce their chance of having an accident abroad, an opinion supported by transport expert, Benjamin Heydecker: "England and Wales are the only two countries in the EU (other than Malta) that has a legal drink-driving limit above 50mg per 100ml - 80mg. Harmonising Europe's standards by reducing the limit to 50mg per 100 ml - which Scotland did recently - would modify drivers' attitude to drink driving, with undisputed benefits for road safety.”
UK drivers' lack of preparation was revealed when quizzed on the driving laws of Europe's top-locations: 50% of Brits admitted they didn't realise it was illegal to use a hands free kit in Spain, or that in Sweden it’s compulsory to carry antifreeze and a shovel in the car. Similarly one in ten (10%) didn't know that drivers in Spain and Italy who wear glasses need to carry a spare pair.
Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at Confused.com, said: "As the holiday season approaches, we're going to see more Brits heading to the continent. While driving is often the most convenient means of travel, it's important for motorists to take the time to understand the foreign laws. Accidents can easily happen in an unfamiliar environment, so reading up and making sure you're completely covered for the country you’re driving in is just as important as getting the right currency."
Confused.com was the UK's first price comparison site for car insurance. Confused.com is one of the UK’s biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include telematics insurance, home insurance and life insurance.
Confused.com press office
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