Us Brits complain a lot about our roads. Be it potholes, middle-lane dawdlers or average speed limits, motorists relish a good moan but there are worse places to drive; a lot worse places in fact.
Summer isn’t far off and a few of us in the Motor-Vision office have plans to head overseas in search of warmer climes and this got us thinking: how do different countries fare for driving?
So for to satisfy our curiosity, we’ve done some digging…
World’s most dangerous
Libya is deemed to be the most dangerous country in the world, according to stats from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Driving fatalities rank third as the most common causes of death in the North African nation with 73.4 road deaths for every 100,000 people living in the country, more than double that of second place Thailand (36.2).
That’s because traffic laws are rarely enforced and drunk driving is widespread. If that wasn’t enough to make you cancel your car hire, sandstorms make it virtually impossible to see where you’re going.
Thailand was labelled the next most dangerous for pretty much the same reasons as Libya: high speeds, drunk driving and flimsy enforcement of road laws. Alcohol is reportedly a factor in four out of five accidents and a quarter of deaths on the roads.
Malawi was third with 35 road deaths for every 100,000 of the population. Poor road conditions, poorly maintained vehicles and inadequate street lighting make it a distinctly un-fun place to drive and that’s before the violent carjackings, potholes, cars without headlights and erm, goats, are taken into account.
Other places deemed distinctly unsafe by WHO include Liberia, where armed criminals won’t think twice before using their weapons, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Central African Republic, Iran, Rwanda, Mozambique and Togo.
To be fair, these countries aren’t really considered mainstream tourist hotspots in the same light as say, Tenerife, so your summer holiday plans are unlikely to be disrupted.
In contrast, Monaco is the safest country to drive in.
Its tiny population (fewer than 150,000 people) may skew the methodology somewhat, but the fact remains that there were no road deaths over 2012 and 2013. This despite having no national laws on mobile phone use, driving under the influence of drugs or wearing seatbelts.
The second safest country was the Federated States of Micronesia, which is spread across the western Pacific Ocean comprising more than 600 islands. Again, we’re only talking about a meagre population here.
You’re probably more likely to visit Sweden, which was third safest thanks to its tough stance on drunk driving and strict use of snow tyres.
Fourth place was the UK, with just 2.9 road deaths for every 100,000 residents. After that, it was San Marino, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, the Maldives, Israel, Singapore, Spain, Norway and Ireland.
Where are the most satisfying roads?
All this so far has been down to how likely or unlikely you are to be killed on the road. What about actual driving satisfaction?
In 2016, driving and navigation app Waze used ratings from 20,000 users in 38 countries to work out that the Netherlands was the best country for motorists. This on top to being the seventh safest; not bad!
France ranked as the second best country to drive in, followed by the United States. The UK came in at a pretty poor 17th, while El Salvador was deemed to be the worst country for motorists, followed by the Philippines and Guatemala.
Ratings were calculated based on six categories: traffic, safety, driver services, road quality, social economy, and something called ‘wazeyness’, which is defined as happiness and helpfulness of the Waze community.
Which country do you relish driving in? And where do you dread getting behind the wheel? Tell us down there in the comments…
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