27% vote Italy #1 difficult place to drive

September 12, 2013 | By | In Statistics

Driving on the continent can be a daunting task for the uninitiated motorist – using the wrong side of the road, unfamiliar customs and speed limits, and road signs in a foreign language all play their part to fluster the Brit behind the wheel abroad.

However, there is one country in particular that gives drivers from the UK more difficulties than most. Italy has been named the toughest place in Europe to drive by 27 per cent of motorists in a survey conducted by Motors.co.uk.

From the narrow, traffic clogged streets of its cities to the melee of driving on the Autostrada, coupled with the Italians’ famed flamboyant driving style, British drivers feel at most unease tackling the country’s wildly varying driving environments.

1 in 5

Drivers don't check local driving regulations.

It was closely followed by Russia, which got 26 per cent of the vote – perhaps unsurprising given the erratic driving captured on so many YouTube dash-cam videos and the poor state of the roads, which see motorists contending with pot holes that can swallow cars whole.

Making up the rest of the top five most difficult European countries to drive in were Greece, with 22 per cent of the vote, and – surprisingly given the number of UK holiday makers they receive each year – France and Spain, countries with well maintained and policed road networks.

“Brits should always thoroughly research the countries they intend to drive in before travelling. Getting behind the wheel in a foreign country is difficult enough, without a lack of preparation, and we urge them to act responsibly for their safety and the safety of other road users.”

Our survey also highlighted that motorists often do not do their homework before driving abroad, with 1 in 5 admitting not checking local motoring regulations before starting their journey.

This lack of preparation comes despite over a quarter of drivers believing that European driving laws are much stricter than those in the UK.

However, this unfamiliarity does have on upside, as 61 per cent of survey respondents said that they drive more cautiously when on the continent.

Phill Jones, Commercial Director of Motors.co.uk, commented: “It’s no surprise that countries with broadly open landscapes, unfamiliar terrains and winding roads have topped this list of difficult locations to drive, particularly when you couple the driving conditions with different languages and adjusting to left-hand drive.

“Brits should always thoroughly research the countries they intend to drive in before travelling. Getting behind the wheel in a foreign country is difficult enough, without a lack of preparation, and we urge them to act responsibly for their safety and the safety of other road users.”

Picture: Fotolia

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