European cyclists, motorists and pedestrians overwhelmingly report a feeling of insecurity on the road, particularly due to the behavior of other users, according to the barometer on road sharing commissioned by the Vinci Autoroutes Foundation and published on Wednesday. “Whatever the mode of travel, cohabitation with other users is a source of anxiety and tension,” insists the study, carried out every year by Ipsos based on the responses of 12,400 Europeans, including 2,400 French .
The majority of users report “a particularly anxiety-provoking climate on the road”. 96% in France and 93% in Europe feel insecure because of the behavior of others. “The lack of space, the density of traffic or simply the search for greater safety are all motivations to encroach on spaces reserved for other road users at the cost of putting them in danger,” underlines the study. For example, 60% of French cyclists (72% in Europe) say they regularly use the sidewalk, reserved for pedestrians. As a result, 64% of European pedestrians say they have already been brushed by a bike, scooter or hoverboard.
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Same observation for bike locks in front of red lights: “57% of bikers and 33% of motorists admit to stopping there” in France, maintains the barometer, even though they are supposed to make cyclists more visible. Finally, 13% of motorists in France admit to using cycle paths to park - 18% in Europe. Compliance with the Highway Code also remains uncertain since 67% of French motorists admit to crossing on orange or red lights, as do 41% of cyclists while 70% of pedestrians admit to crossing on red compared to only 56% in other European countries.
Despite this widespread feeling of insecurity, cycling continues to increase in France for everyday travel but remains well below the European average. 13% of French people (2 points compared to 2020) regularly use the bicycle compared to 22% on average in other European countries. The Dutch are the champions of the category since 58% of those questioned say they regularly use the bicycle, “well ahead of the Belgians (28%), the Poles (27%) and the Germans (26%)”, according to the barometer. A barrier to cycling, the feeling of insecurity is particularly strong in France where only 60% of cyclists say they feel safe on the road compared to 80% on average in Europe and 93% in the Netherlands, where the practice cycling is the most widespread.