More than a third of people in Italy drive at least five times the speed of the national average, according to a study.
It also showed that nearly a quarter of people drive with the car’s automatic climate control off.
The study, published in the journal European Journal of Applied Psychology, analysed data from more than 3,000 drivers from all across the country.
More than 40 per cent of people said they used their car to get to work, compared to the national speed of 25.5km/h.
The findings could also lead to changes in vehicle regulations and vehicle safety standards, said study leader Dr Maria Cristina Novella, from the University of Rome.
“In the case of vehicles with the climate control on, the driver can be more alert, as they can detect the car approaching and react accordingly,” she told AFP news agency.
“This is a good way to reduce risks for cyclists and pedestrians.”
Novella and her team analysed data collected between March and May.
They also compared data collected in September, which is when cars are not as likely to speed in Italy.
The researchers found that nearly half of drivers had already switched off the climate-control system, while almost a quarter had been using it for just 10 minutes.
Dr Novellas team also found that over half of people had used their mobile phones at work, which she said was an indication that drivers had been distracted.
“We believe that the increased pace of driving, particularly in areas with large populations, contributes to an increased risk of injury,” she said.
“The study suggests that the use of smart driving systems, as well as more aggressive road design, could have a significant effect on the incidence of injuries.”