Do you like to drive on your international vacations? If you do, you should always be aware of local driving etiquette and habits. Driving habits in other countries can be quite different from what you are accustomed to and often practiced not only by the locals, but also the out-of-country drivers that quickly adopt the same driving habits as the locals.
Our our top 10 international driving habits you should be aware of
- Honking: is not always a bad thing. Short honks (“beep-beep”) are simply “watch out I’m on your left”, long honks are not so good meaning, “move it”! Don’t be afraid to use your horn.
- Stop signs: they are often ignored. Drivers will look left and right as they approach and then drive right through without a blink of an eye. They think you are watching out for them rather than vice versa.
- Red lights: are merely a suggestion to stop for some drivers and can sometimes act as yield signs; slow down, take a quick look, and then proceed.
- One way streets: not always one way. If it is quicker to a destination drivers will take a shortcut against the traffic flow.
- Two lane roads with a shoulder: these roads can easily become three lanes when passing, on your left or right side! Be prepared to move aside to fit three cars wide.
- Merging on to streets: Drivers will just pull on to the main road whenever they want. They assume the vehicle coming down the road toward them has brakes and can, and will slow down.
- Potholes: drivers will drive in the opposite lane to avoid potholes and the oncoming vehicles will just have move to their shoulder to accommodate. The locals also know where the big potholes are, you don’t.
- Parking: parking can be anywhere; on the sidewalk, on the opposite side of the road facing the wrong way, it can be a parking free for all.
- Motorcycles: there are no rules for them. They drive everywhere, come out of nowhere, pass on either side, and weave in and out of vehicles.
- Front and rear head lights at night: some vehicles have them, some don’t so be vigilant.
That’s just the top ten. Here are a couple more for good measure:
- Number of passengers: whether in a car, on a motorcycle or scooter the limit is only as many as you can squeeze in or on!
- Driver impatience: drivers will lay on the horn to get moving the exact second the light changes to green (for those drivers that actually stop at a red light!).
Be alert and vigilent of your surroundings when driving. Not just internationally, but anywhere. It may not always be necessarily the best to “do as the locals do”.
Since we’re on the topic of driving, we want to share an interesting article about staying fit and healthy on long trips. Read about Evelin and Ferenc and the things they did to stay fit and healthy while on their 32,000 mile, 3 continent overlander journey here.
We’re interested in hearing from you. Send your comments or questions to email@example.com.