Driving in Greece is not for the faint-hearted, and this is confirmed by new research by the Foundation VINCI Autoroutes group which promotes responsible driving.
The study found that one in four Greeks admitted to having slept at the driving wheel of their car for a few seconds, while one in three drivers admit to sleeping for less than six hours before driving. Despite Greek law, 31 percent admit that they read SMS texts while driving placing Greece in first place when it comes to using telecommunications gadgets and driving at the same time (or bragging about reckless driving or just being plain honest).
Greek drivers are in second place when it comes to feeling drowsy behind the wheel of their cars, one of the key causes of fatal road accidents.
The survey, conducted on behalf of the Ipsos group, studied 14,000 drivers in 11 countries of the European Union. The annual study began six years ago and concerns mainly problems caused by drowsiness, carelessness when driving and other dangers that drivers often undermine.
Less than one in two Europeans (49 percent) believe that the number of deaths on roads can be reduced over the coming years. Greek drivers (33 percent) are among the most pessimistic when it comes to the matter, followed by Germans (36%) and Slovakians (49 percent)
Road rage is prevalent in Greece as in other European countries, and drivers believe that others are the ones causing danger on the roads. Carelessness is viewed as the main cause of road accidents (59 percent), followed by alcohol (55 percent), speed (46 percent) and the use of cell phones while driving. Nonetheless more than one in two Greek drivers (55 percent) admitted that they make telephone calls while driving without using hands free, which is higher than the EU average at 32 percent. Those aged under 35 years are more likely to use their phones (62 percent) while driving.