Fleet News

Why drivers must look out for French flashers

A CAMPAIGN that aims to promote safer driving abroad has highlighted laws and driver behaviour that foreign motorists should be aware of.

Promoted by a number of bodies including the RAC Foundation, the study found that British motorists are the most uptight in Europe, with 87% agreeing that they are sometimes very annoyed by other drivers.

Belgian drivers are the most laid-back, with 55% annoyed by other people’s driving. French motorists were found to top the road-rage league table, with 60% saying they have behaved aggressively to other road users.

German road-ragers were more likely to flash their headlights and tailgate other motorists, Greeks more likely to offer a few words of advice and the British use hand signals to demonstrate their anger.

Italian drivers are most annoyed by other motorists using their mobile phones and Greeks by last-minute lane changes.

The study also highlights how driver actions can be misconstrued by other drivers from overseas. For example, if a motorist in France flashes his lights at a junction, he is not inviting drivers to pull out – he is warning that he intends to come through and is asking the other driver to give way to him.

It also reveals laws that foreign drivers should be aware of, including the following:

  • In Germany it is illegal to run out of petrol on the autobahn and will result in a fine.
  • In Belgium, it is illegal to use cruise control in heavy motorway traffic.
  • Speed camera detectors are illegal in France. Simply having one in a car is an offence.
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