Reality Check


We all think we are better drivers than the next person, but the reality on the roads is that we often fall into a trap of drowsiness, tiredness, and distractions when driving, all of which are activities behind many traffic accidents, especially when it comes to long journeys. This is confirmed by the results of the 7th Barometer of Responsible Driving carried out by the VINCI Autoroutes Foundation to learn about the evolution of the behaviours and mentalities of European drivers. Fatigue and drowsiness According to the study, 35% of European drivers confess that they get nervous when they are going to make a long journey by car. In the case of Spain, this figure rises to 41%. However, fatigue does not prevent 34% of the drivers surveyed (26% in Spain) from getting behind the wheel. Regarding dangerous behaviour, 78% of European drivers admit that they look away from the road for more than two seconds (in Spain the figure is 73%). In addition, half say they talk on the phone while driving using Bluetooth (a system that also alters attention). In the case of Spain, this figure drops to 45%. When it comes to distractions, 13% of those surveyed acknowledge having suffered or have almost suffered an accident by falling asleep while driving and 11% for using the mobile. Asked if they respect the safety distance, 61% say that they do not (which drops to 55% in the case of Spain), although 51% consider that breaching this safety standard is one of the main causes of accidents suffered by personnel who works on the highways. Drive safely and serenely On the Barometer, Bernardette Moreau, general delegate of the VINCI Autoroutes Foundation, has pointed out that “the tendency of drivers to be distracted when driving makes them forget the collective implications of driving and, consequently, even the consequences of their behaviour for everyone else”. For this reason, given the trips this summer and taking into account the context of the health crisis we are experiencing, we must not forget “driving responsibly and calmly to contribute to the safety and serenity of everyone on the road,” Moreau said. The Barometer The VINCI Autoroutes Foundation has commissioned the IPSOS company to prepare the 7th Barometer of Responsible Driving. This study also allows us to see the evolution of risky behaviours and good practices, which can be useful when proposing prevention strategies. To prepare this Barometer, 12,400 people over the age of 16 and from 11 European countries were asked on the Internet between February 28 and March 24, 2020 (at least 1,000 people were asked in each country). Quotas of sex, age, profession, region, and population size have been considered. Losing our nerves when we are driving can lead us to behave incorrectly. According to the Barometer, 16% of European drivers admit that they “become someone else” when they get behind the wheel. In the case of Spaniards, it is 15%. In addition, about 60% of those surveyed acknowledge that they sometimes insult other drivers and more than 80% confess that they have once been afraid of the behaviour of other drivers (data reaches 89% in the case of Spaniards).