‘Japanese are world’s best drivers, Thai the worst’

With 1,45 billion vehicles worldwide, the car insurance experts at Compare the Market, a UK price comparison website founded in 2006, wanted to see which countries really do have the best and worst drivers.

The researchers ‘analyzed’ drivers in 50 countries, although the method used should be taken with a pinch of salt. They looked at various factors, including blood alcohol allowance limits, the quality of roads, the number of deaths caused by road traffic, and… social media to pass judgment.

Best drivers in Japan

According to their findings, the world’s safest drivers can be found in Japan. Blood alcohol limit levels are quite low (0,03 g/dl), the country has the highest positive sentiment on social media for driving-related terms (33,4%), and Japan also has the fourth-highest road quality levels on the list, which means that it’s a safe country for drivers and pedestrians.

The Netherlands sits in second place, with the second-highest road quality levels and some of the lowest levels of traffic injury deaths per 100 000 people. Norway makes it into third place, thanks to its low travel times and emission levels. Estonia is fourth.

Worst drivers in Thailand

Other European countries that made it into the top 10 include Austria, Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal; eight out of ten of the best drivers are Europeans. Singapore came in ninth place. Belgium sits in 29th place due to the few positive posts about ‘car driving’ on social media last year, the poor quality of the road surface, and the time spent in traffic.

Looking at the other end of the spectrum, Thailand has officially been voted the country with the world’s worst drivers and the highest number of tragic traffic injury deaths by far (32/100 000 people). Peru has come in second-last place, with the highest traffic index score and fourth-poorest levels of road quality.

Lebanon, India, and Malaysia are all in the top five worst drivers in the world, with the US, Turkey, and Canada all featuring in the top 10, as well.

Safety tips

Several South American countries featured in the bottom ten, including Argentina (45th place) and Brazil (41st). Argentina’s high-speed limit of 130 km/hour contributes to drivers being seen as less safe. The country has long commute times and high levels of CO2 emissions.

The analysts also included some tips for staying safe when driving in a foreign country. A few simple precautions will do.

  1. Check out some basic rules in advance, such as speed limits and any specific documents you’ll need to take with you when driving in another country.
  2. Always keep some spare change at hand for toll roads, tunnels, or bridges, in case you can only pay in cash, so you don’t have to change your route at the last minute.
  3. Make sure that your car insurance covers you for driving internationally.


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