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Driving Culture


lelandv
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Germany: Fast and Not-So-Furious on the autobahns with good lane discipline, and very civilised in built-up areas with most going exactly at the speed limit - no more no less. Traffic tends to flow very well at most times of the day except in roadworks, and the "zipper" effect at congestion points works very well. The biggest disadvantage with driving in Germany is that roadworks always seem to be undertaken during rush hours, and never overnight, so some of the major autobahns have 20km queues through the roadworks.

Netherlands: Probably some of the best driving I've seen in the world (so far). Good lane discipline, very little road rage, and very laid-back driving style. Nobody's really in too much of a rush to get anywhere which makes it quite relaxing to drive there. Part of the laid-back attitude might be a result of the coffee shops ;)

Belgium: Somewhat of a mixture of Germany, Netherlands and France, though they do seem to be a little "weird". The Belgians are considered among other Europeans to be somewhat like the way the British think of the Irish (including the associated jokes).

France: On the autoroutes and in smaller towns, for the most part, there is a good deal of road discipline and good manners. Lorries, on the other hand, often have serious troubles with road rage and "one-upmanship" when overtaking -- especially on two-lane motorways. All of that changes once you get near the major cities such as Paris, however. In Paris drivers of a E-class mercedes will often try to prove that their car can fit into a space only just big enough for a Smart. All in all, however, driving in Paris is not too bad once you get used to it. Be careful of the "give way to the right" rule, however. Even if you are on a major road, a minor road joining from the left still has priority unless otherwise marked. (The white sign with a yellow diamond indicating that you have priority). Paris during rush hour is HEAVILY congested and makes Ken Livingstone's idea of London congestion seem like the Yorkshire Moors on Easter Sunday. Police speed traps are a bit silly (and dangerous) since they use portable cameras with a 5 billion candle flash pointed to the front of the vehicle. You speed and you get blinded for 30 minutes! The stories about the french police using the motorway toll booths as speed traps marking average speed are urban legends.

Luxembourg: Mostly Harmless. Then again, the country is too small for anyone to really take advantage of stupid driving. You can drive from one side to the other in a little under 20 minutes. Otherwise, the style is mostly like Germany.

Spain: Mostly civilised, from what I've seen -- not been to Madrid, but have been to other places in the north and the south. Most vehicles, however, are underpowered, and the motorways in Andalucia are filled with old biddies in their Seat Ibiza's trying to make it up the hills whilst being overtaken by lorries. ;) Barcelona is a great city to drive in, even during rush hour.

Sweden: A bit like germany really. Though the swedes have more common sense when driving in inclimate weather -- they should though.. they're used to driving in snow and ice.

Italy: One rule for all road users -- "Close your eyes, point the car in a direction and go" because if you don't someone else will.

UK: Combination of some very good drivers, and some Darwin Award nominees. middle lane hogging on the motorways is widespread. Everything on www.howmotorwayswork.com rings true for the most part, and the good drivers all seem to be in the minority. It is common for people to totally forget how to drive as soon as it rains or snows. Occasionally, fog lights are used to tell everyone that they have a "cool ricer".

USA: Fairly civilised, but in some places road rage is quite common. It is very easy to avoid speed traps on most highways if you know how to "communicate" with the lorry drivers who will often allow you to hide in between them. Friendliest bunch of lorry drivers I've seen. If you must drive like a lunatic, make sure you know about the different police jurisdictions, usually divided between City, County, and State police -- while they do communicate with each other, their jurisdictions of engagement/pursuit/arrest are clearly defined along those borders. Alternative police stations are wide spread and are identified by the sign "Dunkin' Donuts". Police speed traps are devious and can be hidden just about anywhere (favourite spots are behind billboard advertisement signs and behind bridges). They are not required to be visible from the road as they are in many other countries.

Russia (Specifically Moscow): Fairly civilised for the most part, then again the police are very hard on bad driving anyway. Most of the driving (as well as the actual vehicles) have become very "Americanised" in style, and there are more american cars on the roads than in the USA (Which has a lot of japanese cars these days). In recent years, even the police have changed from the old Lada sedans to the big Lincoln TownCar or Ford LTD gas-guzzlers as well as the Jeep Grand Cherokees. They use a LOT of unmarked police vehicles as well. Most roads these days are in quite good condition, at least around the capital and the highways leading to the major airports.

Any more ?

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Hong Kong:

Roads do not follow "grid" system and are usually spaghetti like and with narrow lanes, hence constant traffic jams everywhere. The only places that does not get jammed are the places that only 3% of the population goes to visit.

Lots of road rage, everyone is in a rush all the time, taxis, vans and trucks tailgating and cutting ppl off like its mission impossible. The average speed for drivers is usually around 20-30km/hr over the speed limit (60km/h for small roads and 100-110km/h for hwys).

You can also see small scale street racing (2-5 cars) all over the place, throughout the night.

I think my hairline has moved north 3 inches since driving in Hong Kong :D

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Lagos, Nigeria: No road sense whatsoever combined with zero traffic management and badly maintained vehicles makes this the most dangerous place on earth to drive. Estimated that up to 50 people a week, either vehicle occupants or pedestrians are killed on the roads each week. Commercial drivers, often high on kat or kola nut are responsible for some of the worst accidents.

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Saudi Arabia

12 year olds "driving" S500 mercs. No road sense, training or respect for other roadusers.

No women drivers allowed so aggression/ ego/ arrogance everywhere, inches from each-others bumpers at stupid speeds, loads of death on roads. American highways, but badly maintained and with extremely corrupt police :tsktsk: .

Bahrain

Much better than above (which isn't saying much), with well maintained British road system, better policing and women drivers ;) .

Thailand (Phuket)

Crazy moped riding. Women riding mopeds holding babies :o . Fatalists so they're not safety conscious (as all accidents were going to happen anyway). Most accidents low speed though (they are mopeds after all) We saw a moped with 3 adults on with a sidecar( a crate with a wheel on) with 3 kids and a dog in it. Great fun to hire a bike and join the mayhem. :winky:

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Germany: Fast and Not-So-Furious on the autobahns with good lane discipline, and very civilised in built-up areas with most going exactly at the speed limit - no more no less. Traffic tends to flow very well at most times of the day except in roadworks, and the "zipper" effect at congestion points works very well. The biggest disadvantage with driving in Germany is that roadworks always seem to be undertaken during rush hours, and never overnight, so some of the major autobahns have 20km queues through the roadworks.

hmm, in the most very true, but i find the germans drive in "Bubbles" on the Autobahn, and drive like idiots, caring for nothing outside of the "bubble", there ignorant in towns, almost never allowing an inch to another driver, certainly not letting them out of a side road onto a busy road, i actually find the germans on the whole to be dangerous drivers in cities, ignorant drivers on the autobahn, and a pain in the ***** on sundays

Netherlands: Probably some of the best driving I've seen in the world (so far). Good lane discipline, very little road rage, and very laid-back driving style. Nobody's really in too much of a rush to get anywhere which makes it quite relaxing to drive there. Part of the laid-back attitude might be a result of the coffee shops ;)

totally agree, loved living in Holland

Belgium: Somewhat of a mixture of Germany, Netherlands and France, though they do seem to be a little "weird". The Belgians are considered among other Europeans to be somewhat like the way the British think of the Irish (including the associated jokes).

again i agree, there wierd and eratic in cities...i hate driving in belgium, especially around Brussels

France: On the autoroutes and in smaller towns, for the most part, there is a good deal of road discipline and good manners. Lorries, on the other hand, often have serious troubles with road rage and "one-upmanship" when overtaking -- especially on two-lane motorways. All of that changes once you get near the major cities such as Paris, however. In Paris drivers of a E-class mercedes will often try to prove that their car can fit into a space only just big enough for a Smart. All in all, however, driving in Paris is not too bad once you get used to it. Be careful of the "give way to the right" rule, however. Even if you are on a major road, a minor road joining from the left still has priority unless otherwise marked. (The white sign with a yellow diamond indicating that you have priority). Paris during rush hour is HEAVILY congested and makes Ken Livingstone's idea of London congestion seem like the Yorkshire Moors on Easter Sunday. Police speed traps are a bit silly (and dangerous) since they use portable cameras with a 5 billion candle flash pointed to the front of the vehicle. You speed and you get blinded for 30 minutes! The stories about the french police using the motorway toll booths as speed traps marking average speed are urban legends.

France is a funny place to drive...out of towns its really nice....but hellish in a built up area

Sweden: A bit like germany really. Though the swedes have more common sense when driving in inclimate weather -- they should though.. they're used to driving in snow and ice.

a dream to drive in sweden.....the roads are wide, clean and the driving style is considerate, the swedish mile however....is confusing :D

UK: Combination of some very good drivers, and some Darwin Award nominees. middle lane hogging on the motorways is widespread. Everything on www.howmotorwayswork.com rings true for the most part, and the good drivers all seem to be in the minority. It is common for people to totally forget how to drive as soon as it rains or snows. Occasionally, fog lights are used to tell everyone that they have a "cool ricer".

considering the Uk actually has the best designed and built roads in the world.....according to an anual road building/transportation survey.....there are just 2 many cars on it, its refreshing to drive in the UK when you have been away for a while, i just wish some of the users would appreciate other need to use the road aswell

USA: Fairly civilised, but in some places road rage is quite common. It is very easy to avoid speed traps on most highways if you know how to "communicate" with the lorry drivers who will often allow you to hide in between them. Friendliest bunch of lorry drivers I've seen. If you must drive like a lunatic, make sure you know about the different police jurisdictions, usually divided between City, County, and State police -- while they do communicate with each other, their jurisdictions of engagement/pursuit/arrest are clearly defined along those borders. Alternative police stations are wide spread and are identified by the sign "Dunkin' Donuts". Police speed traps are devious and can be hidden just about anywhere (favourite spots are behind billboard advertisement signs and behind bridges). They are not required to be visible from the road as they are in many other countries.

i like driving in the US...even more so in Canada

Edited by Monster-Mat
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India...has to be the worst, never drove there myself ( wouldn't want to ), there was a programme on the telly a few years back about driving in India, well it was shocking, Size matters!....if you drive a motorbike you will have to give way to cars, if you drive a car you must give way to vans, Vans give way to truck, and trucks to buses or bigger artics.........example of give way...bus trying to pass a truck on narrow dirt covered road with cars approaching....cars pulled in fast knowing the bus was " on a mission" to pass the truck....crazy!

Another part was coming down a very steep mountain road with no barriers to be seen, 20 cars and other vehicles all lined up like a train, in almost pitch darkness.....why?.....because the guy in front was the only one with working lights.......

The presenter was in a taxi at one stage and inquired about the cars brakes as it seemed to take forever to stop....well he said most cars have only drum brakes as the last thing you want is for someone to be able to stop faster than you, looking at the amount of dents on the car he knew what he was talking about.

Finally the presenter asked why people were not afraid of serious accidents......and he was told it didn't matter if you got killed as you would be "re-incarnated" tomorrow..........

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India...has to be the worst, never drove there myself ( wouldn't want to ), there was a programme on the telly a few years back about driving in India, well it was shocking, Size matters!....if you drive a motorbike you will have to give way to cars, if you drive a car you must give way to vans, Vans give way to truck, and trucks to buses or bigger artics.........example of give way...bus trying to pass a truck on narrow dirt covered road with cars approaching....cars pulled in fast knowing the bus was " on a mission" to pass the truck....crazy!

Another part was coming down a very steep mountain road with no barriers to be seen, 20 cars and other vehicles all lined up like a train, in almost pitch darkness.....why?.....because the guy in front was the only one with working lights.......

The presenter was in a taxi at one stage and inquired about the cars brakes as it seemed to take forever to stop....well he said most cars have only drum brakes as the last thing you want is for someone to be able to stop faster than you, looking at the amount of dents on the car he knew what he was talking about.

Finally the presenter asked why people were not afraid of serious accidents......and he was told it didn't matter if you got killed as you would be "re-incarnated" tomorrow..........

I have driven in India myself many times, since i was about the age of 15 everytime i go there to visit family/friends. Police are very corrupt, you can see 12 year olds driving around, as long as you have money you can do anything. They have not invented parking, you just stop wherever you feel like, also you have to compete with people/beggars/animals/chickens/cows/dogs etc along with lorries/tractors to get anywhere. Roads are one of the worst in the world, and also there is no side of the road to drive on. You see a space, you drive in it regardless of what side of the road it is on. pollution is ridiculous,you can hardly breathe at all in any of the cities. Most people who own cars there, have drivers to drive for them and don't do any driving themselves.

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