What drives Nordic motorists

What drives Nordic motorists: New research on regional behaviors and attitudes

EasyPark recently conducted a survey of more than 1000 Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish motorists to examine the different parking and driving behaviors in each country. The study uncovered several contrasting attitudes towards a range of traffic and parking related issues, including cyclists, pedestrians and knowledge of local parking rules.

Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest concerns to all Nordic motorists is traffic congestion. While no one likes being stuck in a traffic jam, the Swedes appear to have the most relaxed attitude, with just one in four finding the experience irritating.

Johan Birgersson, CEO of EasyPark Group, says while there are many commonalities between the countries there are also numerous stark contrasts, despite being such close neighbors. 

“Our survey found Danes and Norwegians have a much lower tolerance towards congestion than Swedes, with almost 40 per cent agreeing that being stuck in traffic really tests their nerves, while the Finns appear to be the most stressed during rush hour, at a whopping 43 per cent,” he said.

Finland: a haven for cyclists

Swedes and Norwegians feel the most aggressive towards cyclists on the road, with many (one quarter and one third respectively) admitting bike users often make them feel frustrated or angry. Finns on the other hand, have a relatively harmonious relationship with cyclists, with less than 15 per cent feeling bothered by their presence on the road.

Birgersson says while not everyone gets along well with cyclists, most motorists have a deep respect for pedestrians regardless of which country they come from.

“It’s great to see the vast majority of motorists across the Nordic region have such a positive relationship with pedestrians, particularly as tensions can arise when motorists move through increasingly dense urban environments. In Finland, Sweden and Norway, only one in ten motorists find pedestrians irritating, while in Denmark the figure is even lower at a measly six per cent,” he said.  

Swedes overpay the most for parking, Danes know the least about parking rules

Swedes pay the most for parking when compared with neighboring countries, with 42 per cent of those using coins and cards paying more than they need to in order to avoid a parking fine if they don’t return in time to top up the meter.

Nordic motorists were also asked how well they think they know local parking rules. In Finland, almost a quarter of respondents said they don’t understand how local parking rules work. Danish motorists were the worst performing in this category, with almost 45 per cent saying they do not understand parking rules. Unfortunately Swedish drivers don’t fare much better, trailing just behind the Danes at 37 per cent.

The universal problem: finding a free parking space

A common perception among all motorists surveyed was a lack of available spaces to park. Birgersson says EasyPark continues to develop parking solutions that make cities more livable for the future.

“Directing drivers to free parking spaces benefits motorists and parking operators by minimizing search times and increasing off-street occupancy rates. At the same time this eases congestion and reduces the environmental impact of traffic on a city. EasyPark remains at the forefront of developing parking technology that connects motorists with free spaces, which has the potential to revolutionize urban life,” he said.

“The use of mobile payment services like EasyPark is increasing rapidly right across Europe. It’s great to see more and more local municipalities adopting digital parking technology, and EasyPark is proud to play a significant part in this shift. As our coverage continues to grow, we are able to provide even greater value to motorists and parking operators across the network.”