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Thread: How hard is it to drive on the left?

  1. #31
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    My first experience driving in England (Birmingham region) was at night in countryside roads... the police stopped me just to check if I was drunk!

    After a couple of days you can drive as usual. No problems at all... even with manual shift cars. I guess for automatic cars there is just a minimum time to adapt... very easy.

    Do not worry about that.

  2. #32
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    I drive on the left at home, but our cars come from the states so the driver sits on the left. When I go to other islands, the rentals are driver sits on the right, drive on the left of the road. When I go to the States, Puerto Rico, or Aruba, it’s drive on the right, sit on the left. I get used to flip-flopping back and forth. The problem will be pulling out of a driveway- make sure you are in the left lane and turn into the left lane. After that, just follow traffic.

    First time I went to Aruba, my guy there called me to check on me. “Make sure you don’t get on the wrong side of the road,” he said. I laughed, “ah, you forget that we ALSO drive on the left?” He said, “Malcolm, we drive on the right!” Now Igor was always playing jokes, so I laughed and said, “I’m not falling for that- I know you drive on the left.” Just then, I met a truck head-on and had to jump the median. Oops. Igor wasn’t kidding.

    All that being said, the rental places here all have cars in the back lot with head-on damage from tourists who forgot to get on the left. Don’t worry- in Dominica you’ll be too busy worrying about the condition of the roads and trying not to drive off a cliff to worry about getting on the wrong side. ;-)

  3. #33
    In Jamaica, they drive on the left side, and I would not rent a vehicle there. Lots of traffic, and they drive on the hectic side. On the bus, heading to hotels, cars are always passing, cutting it very close to the oncoming bus.

  4. #34
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    Just back from two weeks driving tour in southern England and thought I'd post a picture that illustrates why, for most Americans, driving on the other side is not the important problem in England.

    IMG_1281 (1).jpg

    Yes, it is a real road, a numbered highway.
    Yes, it has two way traffic (plus farm machinery).
    Yes, there are tree trunks and stone walls embedded in the hedgerows.
    Yes, the speed limit really is 60 MPH.
    There are pullouts for passing, but having to back up 1000-2000 yards to get to one is not impossible.

    No wonder the Brits think American drivers are wimps! We didn't go to Ireland or Wales where the roads get really skinny. 30-40 miles a day on single lane roads like this is enough for me.

  5. #35
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    Some of the country roads we drove in Scotland were like that, except I don't remember seeing a straight stretch that long.

    Streets through towns in Europe built 1000 years ago can be tight too. No wonder I didn't see any monster 4wd pickups.

    We drove up one steep mountain road in Italy with continuous switchbacks. One lane, with some pulloffs for passing. Fortunately the apparent etiquette was the driver going up the mountain was the one who backed to a pulloff.

    JKJ

    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    Just back from two weeks driving tour in southern England and thought I'd post a picture that illustrates why, for most Americans, driving on the other side is not the important problem in England.

    IMG_1281 (1).jpg

    Yes, it is a real road, a numbered highway.
    Yes, it has two way traffic (plus farm machinery).
    Yes, there are tree trunks and stone walls embedded in the hedgerows.
    Yes, the speed limit really is 60 MPH.
    There are pullouts for passing, but having to back up 1000-2000 yards to get to one is not impossible.

    No wonder the Brits think American drivers are wimps! We didn't go to Ireland or Wales where the roads get really skinny. 30-40 miles a day on single lane roads like this is enough for me.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post

    No wonder the Brits think American drivers are wimps! We didn't go to Ireland or Wales where the roads get really skinny. 30-40 miles a day on single lane roads like this is enough for me.
    'Glad you had a great time!

    Many of Ireland's roads are pretty decent because of being part of the EU. Now, this was years ago, but when we were driving the southern to mid portion of Ireland (Ring of Kerry, etc) it wasn't any different than here at home outside of which side I was sitting in with the steering wheel. Well marked, too.
    --

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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Some of the country roads we drove in Scotland were like that, except I don't remember seeing a straight stretch that long.
    To be fair I didn't stop to take a picture until I had a bit of clear space in front of me.

    The locals were incredibly polite and accommodating about making room for the tourists -- I could tell I wasn't in Boston anymore! Had a beer with the local farmer in the pub who enjoyed regaling me with tales of the "city boys" in their Porches, Range Rovers, and BMW's who had managed to fall off the road in various entertaining ways in the steeper sections. Whether or not he pulled them out with his tractor seemed to be a strong function of how he perceived their attitude.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    Just back from two weeks driving tour in southern England and thought I'd post a picture that illustrates why, for most Americans, driving on the other side is not the important problem in England.

    IMG_1281 (1).jpg

    Yes, it is a real road, a numbered highway.
    Yes, it has two way traffic (plus farm machinery).
    Yes, there are tree trunks and stone walls embedded in the hedgerows.
    Yes, the speed limit really is 60 MPH.
    Could be worse, there's the Isle of Man TT motorcycle races. Picture roads slightly wider that this one, with concrete curbs, stone walls, hump-back single-lane bridges, trees, the whole nine yards. Then add motorcycles traversing 37-mile laps around the island at over 130MPH average.
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  9. #39
    [QUOTE=roger wiegand;2931538]Just back from two weeks driving tour in southern England and thought I'd post a picture that illustrates why, for most Americans, driving on the other side is not the important problem in England.

    IMG_1281 (1).jpg

    Yes, it is a real road, a numbered highway.
    Yes, it has two way traffic (plus farm machinery).
    Yes, there are tree trunks and stone walls embedded in the hedgerows.
    Yes, the speed limit really is 60 MPH.
    There are pullouts for passing, but having to back up 1000-2000 yards to get to one is not impossible.

    No wonder the Brits think American drivers are wimps! We didn't go to Ireland or Wales where the roads get really skinny. 30-40 miles a day on single lane roads

    I live in the United kingdom and the picture above is representative of a road which probably has little use as indicated by the growth of grass in the middle of the road
    I have never seen anyone drive along a road similar to the picture at 60mph and if you did you would be likely to leave your exhaust in the grass
    The number and positioning of passing points on these roads evolves over time probably decades as areas are worn into the sides of the road by vehicles moving to one side to allow others to pass The number and location of the passing points being dependant on the landscape and road usage

    The hedgerows are also periodically cut back

    The link below sheds some light on why it is a numbered highway

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_...mbering_scheme
    Last edited by Brian Deakin; 06-07-2019 at 9:02 AM.

  10. #40
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    Well, I met two oncoming cars driving about 6 miles on this particular road, one where there was a turnout, one where the very courteous other fellow backed up about 200 yards to get to one. I can't say so much about the twit in the Range Rover who sat two feet off my rear bumper flashing his lights because he was unhappy with my 30-35 mph speed. Needless to say I let him pass at the first opportunity.

    Don't get me wrong-- I love these roads and being way out in the English countryside! It's one of my favorite vacation spots. I'm just amused by the difference in perception across the ocean-- here I'm surrounded with people who couldn't drive a 6-1/2 foot wide car through a 8 foot opening on a bet (witness my daughter and our garage door), there one routinely drives places I'd swear the car wouldn't fit.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    Well, I met two oncoming cars driving about 6 miles on this particular road, one where there was a turnout, one where the very courteous other fellow backed up about 200 yards to get to one. I can't say so much about the twit in the Range Rover who sat two feet off my rear bumper flashing his lights because he was unhappy with my 30-35 mph speed. Needless to say I let him pass at the first opportunity.

    Don't get me wrong-- I love these roads and being way out in the English countryside! It's one of my favorite vacation spots. I'm just amused by the difference in perception across the ocean-- here I'm surrounded with people who couldn't drive a 6-1/2 foot wide car through a 8 foot opening on a bet (witness my daughter and our garage door), there one routinely drives places I'd swear the car wouldn't fit.
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