One in seven Belgian drivers say they are stressed at the wheel, according to study conducted in 11 European countries by the Vinci Autoroutes foundation and relayed by the Vias Institute. This is the highest proportion among the 11 countries, and is twice as high as in the Netherlands, where only 8% of drivers said they were stressed while driving.
Moreover, only 41% of Belgian drivers said they remained calm, as against 71% of Dutch motorists. The European average is 57%.
According to the Vias Institute, these differences are due to the strong density of traffic in Belgium and the many traffic jams that result.
This situation gives rise to uncivil behaviour: Belgians are among the biggest misusers of car horns (58%), just behind Italians and Greeks (both on 60%), who are European champions in this regard.
Some 40% of Belgians admit overtaking on the right and 67% do not respect speed limits on roads undergoing repairs: the European average is 55%.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a major problem. Belgians are twice as likely as their European neighbours to take the wheel after drinking more alcohol than the authorized limit.
Paradoxically, Belgian drivers have a good reputation abroad since 73% of foreigners feel they drive badly, which is much less than the European average of 83%.