Belgian drivers are the European champions at overtaking on the right on the motorway

More Belgian drivers (41%) overtake on the right on the motorway than their European counterparts (31%).

This is according to the 4th European Responsible driving survey by the Da Vinci Foundation, which was released on Saturday. This behaviour “is probably due to the heavy traffic in our country, and the high number of entrances and exits. This means motorists drive in the middle so as not to be “held up” by those coming onto the motorway”, says the Belgian Institute for Road Safety (BIRS).

The survey shows that, in general, many basic safety rules are not always respected by a large number of European drivers. Including Belgians.

As well as being the masters at overtaking on the right, Belgian motorists also use their horn “too early” (52% compared to 47% in the EU). Belgians also don’t respect speed limits near building sites (65% compared to 53% on average within the EU). One Belgian in 33 drives after having taken or smoked drugs, compared to 1 in 50 on average in the EU. It’s 1 in a 100 in some countries like Germany, France, or the Netherlands.

The biggest black mark against Belgian motorists is their alcohol consumption. 26% said they drive while over the legal limit, which is well over the European average (11%). “A Belgian will not drive after having 2.7 glasses or more, compared to 2 on average in the rest of Europe. Only Greece is worse. 9% of Belgian drivers drive while feeling the physical or perceptual effects of alcohol. That’s twice the European average of 4%”, says Benoît Godart, the BIRS spokesman.

On a social level, 31% of Belgians (compared to 21% on average in the EU) do not try to dissuade a person who has been drinking from driving. That’s the highest in Europe.

The author: Michel DEURINCK

Michel Deurinck, born in Brussels in 1950, started his career in the Belgian civil service, dedicating over 30 years to public service. Upon retirement, he pursued his passion for journalism. Transitioning into this new field, he quickly gained recognition for his insightful reporting on politics and culture. Deurinck's balanced and thoughtful approach to journalism has made him a respected figure in Belgian media.

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