Road Trips in Europe - June 2012
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The most popular destinations for a road trip are France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Europe’s network of fast motorways make it easy to get around, but road trippers, whether they are following an itinerary designed by a tour company or travelling independently, favour secondary roads and the dozens of designated tourist routes around the continent.
Travelling by road is becoming less hazardous. European Commission (EC) figures show that fatalities on European highways are dropping, due to better road maintenance and safety features such as the use of daytime running lights (mandatory in all new cars after February 2011). In 2006, the seat-belt law was modified to include lorries, coaches and long-distance buses.
Although Europe has good public transport systems, the car is king. EC figures show that in 2009 (the most recent year available), the number of cars registered within the EU-27 totalled 236.1 million, representing one vehicle for almost half of Europe’s population. Road trips are not, however, confined to travelling by cars. Holidaymakers (both domestic and international) explore Europe’s highways and byways in a variety of vehicles, from motorbikes to caravans.
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