It’s official – Italy has been hailed as the worst country to drive in, according to a poll of British motorists. A study of 2,000 drivers who have attempted to navigate the roads of foreign countries found the boot-shaped nation to be the worst because of erratic drivers, bustling city centres and poor roads.
British drivers also said Italy’s winding cliff-top roads and fast speed limits drive them around the bend.
The Italians themselves were also accused of hooting for no reason, driving too fast and weaving between lanes.
And more than one in ten British drivers said Italians are guilty of jumping red lights.
Gareth Robinson, MD of Carrentals.co.uk which commissioned the study, said:
“Driving abroad can be stressful, especially if you are not experienced at it.
“Most countries, even those in Europe will have different road markings, terrain, signs and laws to consider.
“Many motorists going off on their holidays just think it’s a case of jumping in the car and driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road but there is a lot more to consider.
“We think nothing of researching day trips, restaurants and places to shop when we are visiting another country, but if you are intending to drive it’s advisable to familiarise yourself with the rules of the road.
“If you do find yourself in a stressful situation when driving in a foreign country whether its road rage from a fellow motorist or a narrow cliff top road it’s always best to just keep your cool.”
Researchers also found three quarters of Brits worry about having to drive or be driven in a foreign country.
And it’s not just Italy that fills a British motorist with dread – France and Spain gets them just as hot under the collar.
Driving on the wrong side of the road is the biggest fear for those heading to the foreign highways, as is the concern of not knowing the rules of the road.
And not being able to understand road signs and driving a left-hand drive car are also making motorists anxious about driving in another country.
Driving on the other side of the road has also been said to be the strangest part of driving or being driven abroad by Brits.
An unfortunate one in seven Brits have been involved in a car accident to some degree in another country.
And a further 15% have clocked up one or two near misses while driving international roads.
While one in seven drivers have been pulled over by the police while outside the UK, surprisingly a quarter of these people admitted it was because of drink driving.
And one in six went as far as saying they still have no idea why the police pulled them over.
Gareth Robinson added:
“We recommend that holiday makers driving abroad familiarise themselves with the driving laws and road signage of the country they are travelling to.”
“Take out excess insurance or collision damage waiver cover if you can afford it, and especially if you are travelling somewhere with difficult driving conditions.”
“Although it is not a legal requirement in all countries to phone the emergency services following a minor accident, it is highly recommended you do so if in a foreign country. Even where there is minimal damage to a vehicle it will be useful to have a police report for insurance purposes, particularly if it is a hire vehicle.”
TOP 10 WORST COUNTRIES TO DRIVE IN
9. The Netherlands
WHAT BRITS FEAR WHEN DRIVING ABROAD
1. Driving on the wrong side of the road
2. Not knowing the rules of the road
3. Not being able to understand the road signs
4. Driving a left-hand drive car
5. Other drivers getting irate with me