Vinci: ‘aggressive behavior, insults, and stress prevail among EU drivers’

Despite prevention campaigns and an apparent increase in the number of people killed on the road in 2024, aggressive behavior, insults, and stress still prevail among European drivers.

These are the conclusions of the 14th ‘Barometre de la Conduite Responsable’, a study by market research company Ipsos, published on Tuesday by the French foundation Vinci Autoroutes. The study describes a “tense climate on the roads, often with extreme reactions”.

In France, as in Europe, the biased perception that motorists have of their own driving, already highlighted by previous editions of the Vinci survey, is confirmed again. A tiny proportion of those questioned describes their driving as ‘aggressive’ (5% in France) or ‘irresponsible’ (1%), while 75% declare themselves ‘vigilant’ and 55% ‘calm’ and ‘courteous.’


Conversely, other road users are described as ‘dangerous’ (41%), ‘irresponsible’ (38%), or ‘aggressive’ (7%); 88% of French drivers say they are afraid of aggressive behavior from other motorists. For 85% of those questioned, aggression comes from others whom they consider dangerous and irresponsible. This impression would come from feeling ‘like you are in a bubble’ in your car.

However, many behaviors contradicting these statements appear as soon as we go into detail: more than nine out of ten French people say they exceed the speed limits by a few kilometers/hour (91%), do not respect safety distances (72%), or do not use a turn signal when turning (59%).

It’s not much better regarding risky behavior: 87% of French drivers admit they sometimes take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds, mainly because of their smartphones, which 78% of French drivers admit using while driving.

Finally, 9% of French drivers say they sometimes drive while drunk and 4% after consuming cannabis, figures which even rise to 26% and 16%, respectively, for the highest category at risk, 25 to 34-year-olds.

Some striking findings…

78% of French drivers use their smartphone or program their GPS while driving

65% of French drivers use their cell phone while driving

• 55% honk unintentionally at drivers who annoy them

32% deliberately ‘hit’ the vehicle of a driver who annoys them

21% of all drivers say they have already driven while feeling the effects of alcohol or have also already done so after smoking cannabis (26%)

18% get out of their car to explain themselves to another driver


Bernadette Moreau, General Delegate of the Vinci Autoroutes Foundation: “ The portrait of French people behind the wheel that emerges from this new edition of the Responsible Driving Barometer reflects a society shared between the fear of increasing violence, including on the road, and the difficulty of everyone, whatever their age, to act for its appeasement. Respecting the rules of the road, being aware of the consequences of one’s actions for oneself and others, and resisting impulsivity and individualism are all ways to fight against road violence and violence in general.”

The Vinci survey, the 14th edition of this ‘Barometre de la Conduite Responsable’, was conducted on 12,413 people in 11 European countries.


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