PanAm747
Topic Author
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Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 10:24 am

Say you were driving in a country that has right hand traffic (USA) and then you crossed the border into a country that has left hand traffic (UK), how would the roads change?

Will you just drive on the left side of your car on the left side of the road?

Is there a place like this?
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Hurricane
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 10:27 am

Gotta think..all of the left side driving countries are former British colonies. Most are islands. The only ones that aren't/weren't that I can think of are Guyana and South Africa, and maybe Hong Kong and India, though I'm not certain about any of them.
 
Hurricane
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 10:28 am

aren't/weren't
Supposed to be are/were...
 
ZRH
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 10:36 am

I have been driving in many countries. There is no problem. My country (Switzerland drives right). When you take the channel train between France and UK you have to change ---- no problem.
 
Banco
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 7:07 pm

Hurricane: What about Japan?
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Hurricane
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 9:00 pm

Does Japan drive on the left side? I didn't know that...
It's an island so it wouldn't matter anyway.
 
ryanb741
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 9:04 pm

Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, Laos, China (I believe) all drive on the left.

Approx 65% of the world's surface area drives on the left.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
 
Guest

RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 9:23 pm

65% ??
Please name a few big countries besides Australia to illustrate this.
 
Banco
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 9:46 pm

I must admit I thought China drove on the right. Not sure, though.

To directly answer the topic question I suppose you would have had that situation in Sweden prior to about 1954 (?? I'm sure a Swede will put me right here) when they switched from the left to the right. I don't know how they handled it when people drove over the border from Norway and Finland. Anyone care to enlighten us? Ask your Dad? Big grin
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
dragogoalie
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 9:48 pm

Yes, japan does drive on the left. Talk about confusing...In the states I drive on the right, in Japan I'm supposed to be on the left, and when taking off or landing I'm supposed to be on the line...

--dragogoalie-#88--
Formerly known as Jap. Srsly. AUSTRALIA: 2 days!
 
ryanb741
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 9:54 pm

India, Pakistan I believe drive on the left also.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
 
BarfBag
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 10:07 pm

In India, officially we drive on the left. Unofficially, people drive on whichever side of road they please. Most of the times, vehicles veer out of each others way at the last microsecond. But sometimes they end up as piles of mangled metal.

Singapore too drives on the left.
 
airsicknessbag
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 10:28 pm


Not answering the question, but interesting: did you know that Austrians drove on the left until joining the Great German Empire in 1938? When they became independent again, they decided not to change things again.

Daniel Smile
 
docpepz
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 10:29 pm

One of my British friends drove her car to continental Europe. She said it was an absolute nightmare and she's never ever doing it again.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Hey how do you guys feel when you drive in a country that drives on the 'wrong' side of the road with respect to your home country? I personally haven't had the opportunity, but when I get to California next week I probably might give driving my friend's car a try.

"TURN RIGHT KEEP RIGHT......TURN LEFT KEEP RIGHT"

Anyway there is always ONE perfect guideline to make sure you're driving at the 'correct' side of the road: For a dual carriageway, your steering wheel must always be at the centre of the road!
 
707CMF
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 10:35 pm

I drove in UK for 6 month with my French car. No problem at all (except maybe for overtaknig)
But it helped a lot that I rode a bicycle there for 6 months before (after that, it is just natural to drive on the left side of the road)

Japan does drive on the left side
so does Hong Kong
China does not, though (which means you change sides when you cross the "border")
 
Banco
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 10:51 pm

Actually Docpepz, it is interesting you raise that because the Spanish have just released some research showing that British drivers are the most likely to have an accident in Spain. Now, you need to take into account that the death rate on British roads is just about the lowest in the world, so it isn't an issue of British drivers being poor. It clearly does show though, that those of us used to driving on the left have significant problems when we have to drive on the other side of the road. Presumably, it would be the same the other way around.

Of course, some of these drivers will be in UK cars (i.e. with the steering wheel on the right) and some in hire cars.

I've never had any problems driving in Europe (or North America) for that matter, but it does take some getting used to. I'm sure that I'm a higher risk when I'm over there though.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
NJTurnpike
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Fri May 03, 2002 11:39 pm

I regularly drive in both the US and UK. Never had a problem adjusting sides of both car and road. Drive to Philly, hop on a plane, get to Heathrow, pick up the rental car, hit the streets.

But only now after driving in the US for three years do I feel ready to tackle France and Germany  Smile



 
SK A340
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Sat May 04, 2002 4:55 am


Banco: I don't know if the year is right, but it sounds right.
I've seen some really funny TV-clips from the day that Sweden switched from left-hand traffic to right-hand. The police simply stood in the middle of the streets and the cars came driving on the left side, turned over to the right side and just continued driving.

/SK A340
 
kl713
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Sat May 04, 2002 5:15 am

Suriname, next to Guyana has also left-side driving.....because of the fact the British not only had Guyana in their power, but also Surinam for a short while...a few periods later they had traded Surinam to the Dutch, and the British bought New York (New Amsterdam in that period) from Holland.....some British Influences are left behind in Surinam, one of that influences is left-side driving....

so you won't have a problem when crossing the boarder between Suriname and Guyana, only that the boarder is a river!! so you have to take the ferry first.... Big grin
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trident3
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Sat May 04, 2002 7:02 am

The most dangerous time when you are driving on "the other side of the road" is about 2or 3 days into your spell,when you start to relax. You will pull out of a junction, turn the wrong way and find yourself on the wrong side of the road.
BTW there is one place in the UK where you drive on the right, that is the access road for the Savoy Hotel, just off the Strand in London,but seeing as it is a side turning it is not hard to manage.
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mls515
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Sat May 04, 2002 8:47 am

See this pic:
http://www.travel-library.com/general/driving/drivemap.gif


And this page: http://www.travel-library.com/general/driving/drive_which_side.html
Which side of the road do they drive on?


Ryanb741, I'm afraid your 65% figure looks wrong.
 
airblue
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RE: Driving Between Countries (Left/Right Sides)

Sat May 04, 2002 4:29 pm

Add to the list of country who drive on the left also Indonesia.
If I'm not wrong, China drives on the rigth. But when you see on TV some Chinese towns it's diffucult to understand on which side they drive cause usually you could see only a lot of bikes and confusion.

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