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Driving on the wrong side of the road

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by devildog2067, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    For once I decided to rent a car in England instead of take the train. Just for fun, basically

    It's weird for about 20 minutes and then it's no big deal. Roundabouts going the wrong way are a bit hairy and I frequently grab the door handle first when I try to shift gears but other than that it's pretty much the same.

    Fun though. Glad I did it.
     
  2. DairyFresh

    DairyFresh

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    I would be worried about misinterpreting signs and or signals.
     

  3. bocaboca

    bocaboca

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    Is it a right side...left side brain thing?
     
  4. RedTop

    RedTop

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    I had a problem using the turn signals with the car I rented. The signal control was on the right of the steering column so every time I went to signal for a turn I hit the windshield wipers, which were on the left.
     
  5. Hines57

    Hines57 Simple Member

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    I lived in Japan for a year so I got real used to it. It was not that hard to do. I got really screwed up when I came home and rode my motorcycle though. No visual clues to help remind me which side of the road to drive on. And i kept trying to get in the wrong side of the car.
     
  6. Angry Fist

    Angry Fist Dehumanizer® Lifetime Member

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    I'd try to find a mail truck... :supergrin:

    Can you rent right driving cars in other countries that drive on the left?
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  7. jollygreen

    jollygreen

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    At least they have a "side of the road." In Panama the lines on the road just point them in the right direction.
     
  8. DanaT

    DanaT Pharaoh

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    I would recommend finding a pub. Then nothing will seem strange.

    Word of advice.

    The Fullers London beer (what ever it is) is nasty, cheap crap. Stay away.
     
  9. badge315

    badge315

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    I've rented cars in "wrong side" places twice...left-hand drive cars in St. Croix and right-hand drive in Jamaica. After a little while it's no big deal...although my colleague in St. Croix wrecked his rental on our first day there because he was looking the wrong way when he pulled out into traffic.:rofl:
     
  10. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    About 1 weekend a month I am in a place (St. Maarten, The Caribbean, UK, Japan on rare occasions) where they drive on the other side.

    I was saved from total and certain death in London recently, stepping off a curb and checking for traffic - THE WRONG WAY.

    The rear view mirror of the big red bus actually hit the tip of my nose, and this was AFTER my colleague YANKED me back on the sidewalk. :faint::faint:
     
  11. mhill

    mhill

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    Yeah, But how many times did you walk out to the passenger side to get in the car? I did it a bunch. I just had to take an extra second everytime I took a left or a right. But it's not really hard at all.

    My Cousins would watch out the window as me and my wife would instinctively walk to the wrong side of the vehicle. I'd realize it when I got to the door and didn't see a steering wheel. :)
     
  12. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    When I landed at JFK last week (my car was in short term parking) all lanes are dedicated to ticket payment, and you exit the airport in a one way street onto a highway. I was hugging the left lane until I got to the Cross Island Parkway! :rofl:
     
  13. strack350

    strack350

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    My wife and I just returned from a two week Ireland trip a few weeks ago and we rented a car. We wanted to stay out of alot of the more touristy areas, and the car proved invaluable for this. As other said it took about twenty minutes to get the hang of driving on the left side, and shifting with the left hand, after a few days I felt I was old hat at driving like that.
    Oh yeah, we defiantly walked to the wrong side on more than one occasion, and I defiantly wish they would bring small turbo diesels over here. We had a Hyundai Santa Fe "IX-35" there and averaged 40mpg:)
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  14. fwm

    fwm

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    I have driven all over the Caribbean, left and right side of the road, from both the left and the right side of the car on both types of road, and a moped.

    My wife feels very comfortable with my driving on any type road.

    That particular skill may have come from the years when I raced a left shift, right rear brake motorcycle, but my street bike was right shift, left rear brake (Which I greatly prefer for balance reasons) with absolutely no problems.
    I get into, or onto, the vehicle, take a moment to 'adjust' my brain to which environment I'll be in, and then I'm fine from there on. Doesn't even seem strange or anything.

    (Of course, that might also be some sort of 'holdover' from my sister, who can write two different letters at the same time, using both hands. Now that's strange.)
     
  15. G23Gen4TX

    G23Gen4TX

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    I moved to London in 1999. A year later I took my driving test (after already driving there for a year with my previous licence). It's the hardest test I have seen to date (done it in 3 different countries).

    The written part is also the most complicated I've seen.
     
  16. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? Millennium Member CLM

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    I find driving in the UK/Ireland challenging, but not as bad as I thought. It helps tremendously that the whole system is (obviously) designed to support driving on the other side, so all the cues like traffic signs, lights, signals, arrows, etc. all cue you correctly.

    I do have to make sure I'm paying 100% attention, though... there's no room for 'autopilot'. Similarly, it gets hard at complex intersections where the line to take isn't obvious, and all my experience points my vision to the wrong places.

    As Gallium notes (glad you're alive, buddy!) walking is a totally different thing. In central London many crossings are painted to remind pedestrians to look right for traffic, but even still, habits are powerful things, and it's awfully easy to step in front of a bus that you never bothered to look for. Outside the painted reminder zone, it sometimes feels like busses, semis and angry people in tiny cars constantly simply teleport into existence about a foot from me on the right hand side.

    I'm in the UK exactly the wrong amount, where I ought to know better, but never quite build the habits to do it right. I walk to the wrong side of the car about 80% of the time, usually colliding with my passenger, who was heading to the correct side.

    Same story with saying 'pants' - I know it means underwear there, but I somehow can't stop saying it... "hey, nice pants you're wearing today!"; "oh, man, I have this huge stain on my pants!", etc. Sigh.

    Anyhow, I'm increasingly clear that you really DO need to teach kids to look BOTH ways at every crossing, and build that habit if you intend them to ever survive leaving the US.
     
  17. SC Tiger

    SC Tiger Jive Tiger

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    I always figured I'd probably be okay as long as I had a car with right hand drive. If it was left hand drive (there are some in England) I would probably get confused, think I was in America, and plow headlong into a "Lorry."

    Shifting with my left hand would drive me nuts though.
     
  18. LoadToadBoss

    LoadToadBoss IYAAYWOT

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    I lived and drove in England for four years. When I came back to the States, I had to concentrate on US driving rules and unlearn a lot of stuff that became natural to me in England. One day I was pulling out of a parking lot--kind of on autopilot--and transitioned into the left lane. The on-coming traffic let me know of my brain fart really quick.
     
  19. DanaT

    DanaT Pharaoh

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    Yeah. I seem to have the problem coming back from Germany.

    Things likie "right of way" (i.e when it is unmarked, right before left).

    Left lane is for passing; not camping.

    100mph on the highway and everyone on GT starts calling you a serial murderer....and 100mph is just getting started...

    People actually driving on their half of the road and not down the middle.

    Having warning by license plates they drive like idiots (Netherlands, France, Poland, Swiss).....wait...i actually have that in CO...Wyoming license plates....

    I still dont get why people in the USA get so pissed when one uses the "flash to pass" feature built into cars. If it wasnt intended to warn other drivers that you were intending to pass, then why would a car have that??
     
  20. SouthpawG26

    SouthpawG26

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    How to spot the opposing lane tourist driver: watch the wipers come on at every intersection, instead of the indicators..:rofl: