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Greek drivers: 8 in 10 flout speed limits; 92% believe everyone else drives dangerously

A total of 76% of Greek drivers talk on the phone while driving and 84% use smartphone apps during their driving, according to an Ipsos survey for Vinci Autoroutes Foundation released recently, quering 12,400 individuals in 11 European countries.

For Greece specifically, the Eurobarometer 2023 research found that in recent years Greeks do not just chat on the phone while driving, but participate in videos while on the road as well.

In addition, a majority 92% of Greek drivers believe that all other drivers are dangerous, while at the same time 8 in 10 exceed speed limits.

Bluetooth use is widespread and its threat to road safety is underestimated, the survey showed, as 58% of Greek drivers use this technology.

A 9% of Greek drivers admit they drive under the influence of alcohol, while 15% have caused a road accident because of excessive alcohol consumption. In addition, 1 in 10 drivers has driven while under the influence of cannabis or other drugs.

In terms of sleepiness during driving, 26% of Greek drivers confirm they have fallen asleep on the wheel even for a few seconds, while 2 in 10 drivers have been involved or come near to being involved in an accident due to sleep deprivation.

On the other hand, Greek drivers are hot-tempered while driving: 63% have admitted they get into arguments with other drivers, 60% honk without reason, 24% get out of the car to argue, and 86% have been frightened by the aggressive behavior of other drivers.

In terms of observing speed limits, besides the fact that 8 in 10 drivers exceed the speed limit, 44% do not wear a seat-belt during their travel.

6 in 10 Greek drivers do not keep a safe distance from other cars and tend instead to drive up close to the car preceding them.

As Vinci Concessions Greece director and board member of the Vinci Autoroutes Foundation Panagiotis Papanikolas commented, “The findings of this year’s Eurobarometer of road safety revive critical issues of safe driving and highlight new dangers such as the steadily rising use of electronic devices during driving. The result is that all of us involved in the road safety sector ought to renew our commitments and knowledge, serving the life and physical integrity of road users.” [amna]

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11 comments

  1. These are shocking numbers. And this just isn’t only in Greece.
    I think the same survey showed that up to 30% of Europeans watch movies while they are driving. They watch movies while they wait for a traffic light. Where I live, you hear constant honking because somebody waiting for a traffic light is watching a movie and forgets about the traffic light so others start to honk when it turns green and the driver watching the movie does not move. Road rage is on the rise.

    My favourite grievance is when there is an obstacle on the opposite side of the road and the drivers in that direction instead of stopping (because they have the obstacle on their side) at the last second passes it so in the end everybody is stuck. And of course, it is always the other side that is to blame.
    It is a sign of the times we are living in. Everybody is self-important.

  2. I thought that they were worse. The Greek mentality is weird.

    • Greek drivers are a nightmare! Lots of them bought their driving licence which is the truth!!! During the weekend in Gazi, Athens, lots of them driving drunk or under the influence of drugs! I see all the drivers talking on their mobile phones during driving!!! And what a surprise: no police anywhere!!!! Lots of innocent people lost their lives due to those idiots on the roads and no police anywhere….oh…wait…sorry….you can find all police officers hanging around at any coffee shops and having a chat…

  3. Athens is not even close to the most dangerous location for city driving. Having visited 94 countries I nominate Mumbai, India and Cairo, Egypt for the worst. 3rd place is Beijing, China. Athens, Greece is very organized compared to these.

  4. Overall I think Greek drivers are just rude and dangerous. No one stops for pedestrians on the crosswalks. One day I stopped at a crosswalk for an elderly lady and she just wouldn’t cross. How does anyone in this country get a driver’s license?

  5. Unrestained children, mobile phone usage,going through red lights, not giving way to pedesttians, parking wherever they want. They are the most idiotic people I have seen in many years of traveling.
    They abuse pedestians that have the right of way.As previously stated above, where are the police to impose huge fines and loss of licence for the blatant disrespect these drivers show for life and other road users!!!

  6. Have you not heard the saying “What do you call a good driver in Greece? Answer – A Tourist!”

    • That depends, some tourist drivers are also dangerous. They stop their rental in the middle of the road because they’re lost…who stops in the middle road like that?

  7. Having visited 16 times in the past decade, I have to agree with most of the comments. Greeks are wonderful people, generally, but they turn aggressive, idiotic, and dangerous when driving. I have had conversations with Greeks about this, and at least they admit it. Why they continue is a mystery, but they do. Tailgating is their worst and most agressive behavior, followed by a basic lack of respect, not letting people merge, and of course parking in crosswalks. I agree that the police are completely lame, ineffective, useless. If Greece wants to be a player on the European stage (beyond a vacation destination), Greek drivers need to improve dramatically.