A large proportion of British motorists have revealed that they would like a change to UK driving laws in order to make the transition to driving on continental European roads easier, according to new research.
The report revealed how two thirds (66 per cent) of British road users have had a motoring mishap while driving abroad because of the difficulty of driving on the other side of the road. This not only puts their lives at risk, but also could lead to an expensive car insurance claim while on holiday.
An astonishing one in five (20 per cent) road trips involving British drivers in Europe end in a crash or bump, but three-quarters (73 per cent) find getting behind the wheel in countries such as France and Spain a daunting prospect due to different motoring laws across Europe.
Foreign road signs, alternative driving habits and cross-country law changes will be the primary concerns for British holidaymakers this summer who are hiring a car or taking their vehicle across the English Channel.
Driving on the right, however, causes the most anxiety, with a third (39 per cent) of UK drivers fearing the experience of driving on the other side of the road. Lapses in concentration have caused one in five (19 per cent) Brits to drive on the wrong side while abroad.
It is particularly worrying that although British motorists fear travelling abroad, around one in four British motorists (25 per cent) are to head off without making sure they have adequate insurance. Many drivers simply believe that their UK policy automatically provides them cover on the continent. However, it may be the case that their policy is not as comprehensive as it on home shores.
Although half of Brits (54 per cent) want their home country to switch to driving on the right, the likelihood of it happening is very slim. Sweden managed to successfully make the switch in the 1960s, reducing road accidents by 37 per cent, and Britain’s Department for Transport (DFT) did consider it in 1969. But the cost of making the transition is simply far too expensive to be a reasonable long-term solution.
Benjamin Heydecker, professor of transport studies at the Centre for Transport Studies at University College London, explained that the costs would run into the billions. Around one in ten asymmetric roundabouts would have to be dug up and rebuilt, road signs would need to be turned, traffic lights would have to be reconfigured and slips roads would need extending.
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