In what has been a dispiriting week for those keen to put faith in the competence and good sense of British drivers, comes the alarming revelation that UK motorists are frankly unfit to be let loose on other countries’ roads.

In the previous five years alone – an important new research programme undertaken by nodding dog insurance provider Churchill has revealed – Brits have risked their own and others’ lives by driving on completely the wrong side of foreigners’ roadways (or, if you prefer, on the right side but in the wrong direction).

A fair proportion of this controversial driving, it seems, has been taking place in Spain, a popular holiday destination located in South West EU, where Brits have apparently been involved in a catalogue of near mrs and accidents.

According to Churchill, thirteen percent of drivers admitted they had nearly had an accident whilst driving in Spain, whilst a further eight percent said they had taken it to the next level by actually being ‘involved in a collision’.

In the absence of documentary evidence to the contrary, let us, for our present purposes, assume that these are real collisions, not the RTA equivalent of the appalling stomach complaints that have lately been ruining so many Brits’ breaks abroad.

On which basis, it seems clear that it would be good if UK motorists weren’t quite so clueless when it comes to negotiating the highways and byways of overseas nations.

According to leading online news source iNews, the Churchill study uncovered “high levels of misunderstand [sic] and ignorance around the requirements and laws around driving in Spain that could lead to fines and prosecution.”

Terrifyingly, only 39 per cent of Brits are “aware of the legal requirement to carry a high-vis jacket and headlamp beam deflectors, and only 38 per cent new [sic] they must have a set of spare lightbulbs and the tools to fit them.”

There is widespread ignorance also over stuff like warming triangles, wearing galoshes, and using speed camera detractors.

Steve Beret, head of car insurance at Churchill warns: “So many motorists have veered onto the wrong side of the road in Spain. It is very worrying, and it’s lucky there haven’t been even more accidents.”

But the real sting in Churchill’s research tail is that a third of Brits driving overseas wrongly assume their UK motor insurance policies will automatically cover them should they (as they almost inevitably will) have a accident (or otherwise feel the need to make a claim) whilst in Spain or somewhere else foreign.

One top tip for those planning on driving in a different country is to bear in mind that in many parts of abroad, the locals tend to drive on the right side of the road (as opposed to the left side).

Taking the trouble to respect such local traditions, however quaint and illogical they may seem, will help ensure you have a carefree and enjoyable time when visiting foreign lands.


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