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Fears of driving abroad revealed

Nearly three-quarters of UK drivers who have driven abroad were left frightened by the experience, research has shown.

A survey of 2,000 UK motorists who had driven abroad revealed that 70% had felt some level of fear about the experience, ranging from "terror" to feeling "panicky" and "nervous".

The biggest worry for drivers, according to the research by insurer Allianz Your Cover, is accidentally driving on the wrong side of the road (35%), followed by not knowing the rules of the road (12%) and not understanding foreign road signs (11%).

For those who had been pulled over by the police while driving abroad, 37% were stopped for speeding and 17% for drink driving while a worrying one in five (20%) said had "no idea" why they had been pulled over, according to the survey.

Drivers claimed the most annoying thing about driving abroad is not knowing the road signs (20%), forgetting which side to drive (19%) and aggressive drivers (16%) while one in five admitted they got angrier driving abroad compared to the UK.

The poll, carried out last month by 72 Point on behalf of Allianz Insurance, revealed that women drivers surveyed felt they had a 50% greater chance of having an accident when driving abroad compared to 20% of men.

Just one in five women (20%) were confident about driving abroad, compared to 45% of men, but even male drivers found the experience uncomfortable, with one in four admitting they were more nervous than when driving in the UK.

Less than half of drivers (40%) said they make sure they know the driving laws in a foreign country and just 30% research rules of the road and road signs before their holiday.

Based on the experiences of those who took part in the survey, one in 10 motorists driving abroad will suffer a mechanical breakdown, receive a parking fine, have items stolen from their car or be stopped by the police.

Allianz Your Cover, which offers cover selected by customers to match their lifestyle, said driving abroad would be a less worrying experience if drivers took time to prepare and research the rules of the road.

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