Wim Kempenaers

Road rage in Belgium: it's going the wrong way

An increasing number of Belgian motorists is displaying aggressive behaviour behind the wheel. This has been revealed in a French survey by the Fondation Vinci Autoroutes, conducted in 11 European countries. It shows that the situation in Belgium is getting worse than in neighbouring countries. Only two countries have worse results.  

Insulting other motorists behind the wheel, blowing the horn, tailgating the motorist in front, or even stopping to get out of the car to give the other motorist a piece of your mind: all these types of behaviour are getting more frequent in Belgium, and the increase is worse than in other countries.  

Two thirds of the Belgians are blowing the horn heavily to express their irritation, a number which is 10 percent up on the year. Only Spaniards are using the horn more often. Meanwhile, 15 percent is getting out of the car to seek a confrontation, a 50-percent increase. Britons and Dutchmen are the least likely to step out of the car, while Polish drivers have the poorest score here. 

The Institute for Road Safety VIAS says that traffic is getting more and more congested here, with also new players such as electric steps and fast e-bikes. At the same time, a lot of accidents are still being caused because of distraction, when motorists are putting the address in their GPS, or checking their smartphone for example. "This remains a real problem that we need to tackle," underlines Karin Genoe of VIAS Institute.

Nearly two thirds of the Belgian motorists are blowing the horn to express their irritation; only Spain has a worse score