With more than 4.4 million UK motorists set to hit foreign roads this summer, that means 1.7 million British drivers will drive on the wrong side, the Swiftcover research showed.
Almost one in five of the 1.8 million accidents involving British drivers abroad are collisions with oncoming vehicles, according to the car insurer’s own customer data.
Nearly 50,000 UK drivers admitted to driving at least a mile on the wrong side of the road during a trip abroad.
Robin Reames, chief claims officer at Swiftcover, said: “It only takes a split second to lose concentration before you find yourself head-on with another vehicle. We see a huge uplift in oncoming vehicle accidents when Brits drive off overseas, but there are a few simple tricks to help avoid this happening.
“A simple sticker on your steering wheel, for example, can jog your memory when you get into your car, reminding you that you need to drive on the right-hand side of the road when you set off.”
British drivers find Italy the most dangerous European country to drive in, followed by France and Germany, the research showed.
Bad driving by local citizens (71 per cent), the poor state of foreign roads (24 per cent) and driving on the right-hand side of the road (22 per cent) were all cited as making driving abroad particularly difficult.
Gérard Acourt, president of the ECF, France’s national road safety agency, said: “Even though European roads tend to be fairly similar to each other, there are still many differences and ignoring these can result in serious consequences.”