Over half of Belgian drivers (63%) regularly use their horn to express their irritation, while 59% curse, 31% tailgate and others make rude gestures, according to a study in 11 European countries by traffic safety institute Vias. The study – which found that Belgians are the most aggressive in traffic – also confirmed that one out of ten Belgians (11%) already had an accident caused by using their smartphone while driving. Of those surveyed, 21% admitted that they sometimes use their smartphone while driving, in spite of all sensitizing campaigns. In the Netherlands, it is 15%, in the UK 11%.
Belgian drivers, in particular, are getting more aggressive compared to other European countries, probably due to over-crowded roads, the study concludes. “In the car, our most primitive anger bubbles up,” traffic psychologist Geert Tertoolen told NewMobility.
The roads, in general, are getting busier, with more different means of transport. Not only cars, buses and trucks but also e-bikes, delivery bicycles, scooters… On top of that, social media make sure we’re constantly stimulated, which is causing more aggression, according to the study.
“Anyway, whenever you feel range welling up, just use the golden rule and count from 0 to 10 before actually doing anything,” is Tertoolen’s advice. “A good curse to yourself might be a relief too,” he added.
The Brussels Times
This article has been updated