SUMMER DRIVERS: Hundreds of thousands of visiting Brits to Spain risk lives by driving on wrong side of road each year, research shows

LAST UPDATED: 14 Nov, 2017 @ 14:04
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AN estimated 200,000 drivers from the UK a year are putting lives at risk by accidentally using the wrong side of the road in Spain.

Research from Churchill insurance found that 2% British motorists have mistakenly driven on the left in Spain in the past five years, giving an average of 200,000 drivers annually.

The survey, which questioned 2,004 people, also discovered that more than one in 10 drivers (13%) have had a near miss while driving abroad, and that one in 12 people (8%) have had an accident while driving outside the UK.

“That so many motorists have veered onto the wrong side of the road when on holiday in Spain is very worrying and it’s lucky there haven’t been even more accidents,” said Steve Barrett, head of car insurance at Churchill.


The study also found that many motorists don’t even swot up on the local traffic laws before driving abroad.

Nearly half (46%) of those respondents who had driven in Spain were unaware that speed camera detectors were illegal, while 47% didn’t realise that they could be pulled over for failing to indicate while changing lanes.


Drivers also seem unaware of the requirements for vehicles being driven in Spain, which could prove problematic for those taking their own car on holiday.

Just 39% of those questioned were aware that Spanish law requires cars to carry a high-visibility jacket for every vehicle occupant, while just under three-quarters (72%) didn’t know that cars in Spain need to carry two warning triangles.


“That so many motorists have veered onto the wrong side of the road when on holiday in Spain is very worrying and it’s lucky there haven’t been even more accidents,” said Steve Barrett, head of car insurance at Churchill.

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  1. This is not correct: “…Spanish law requires cars to carry a high-visibility jacket for every vehicle occupant…” Only one for the driver is legally required, though more are ‘recommended’. If passengers exit a disabled vehicle on a highway, then they are then required to have high-visibility jackets.

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