Expatica news

It’s official, Belgians drive badly

4 November 2004

BRUSSELS – Eight out of 10 Belgian drivers have admitted to eating and drinking while at the wheel of a car, according to a survey out on Thursday.

And the average driver does not pay attention to the road for about 16 percent of the time.

Motor organisation Touring interviewed 500 Belgians for a survey on driving habits and found men, in particular, were distracted by eating (87.5 percent of those polled).

Women, on the other hand, get distracted by events they see out the window, like an accident or a person they think they know (83 percent of women).

The majority of drivers – 74 percent – are also guilty of making phone calls at the wheel, with men doing so more often than women.

And of those drivers who admitted to using their mobile in the car, 64 percent said they didn’t use a hands free kit – a figure Touring described as “alarming”.

Touring also said the nation’s roads are being made hazardous by drivers fumbling for stuff in their glove compartments (77 percent of those polled), picking up objects dropped on the floor (67 percent) or fiddling around with the buttons in their car like the heating, the radio or the navigation system (65 percent).

Perhaps surprisingly, children in the back demanding their parents’ attention aren’t as distracting as drivers having heated conversations with other passengers – 41 percent compared to 83 percent of those polled.

A quarter of Belgians read at the wheel, whether it’s a road map (58 percent); papers, books and magazines (16 percent); or their post (10 percent).

And judging by the Touring survey, looks could be a killer: 17 percent of women confess they have put their make-up on when they should have been watching the road and a tenth of men have shaved at the wheel.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news