Karl`s PC Help Forums

PRETENDING (As An American) Driving In A UK Country For The First Time
JackInCT - 11-3-2016 at 21:33

'The Bear's' topic re his health problems as a result of an accident in a parking lot got me to thinking about what it would be like for me, as an American, to drive in a country, such as a UK country, and having to drive on the left.

So I took a look at a YouTube video which was well done, and posted by an American re his very first drive in Great Britain, and set in a crowded urban environment; the vid was shot during daylight with clear skies.

I have to tell you that I got one intense migraine headache watching this 8 min vid. It really stressed my neurological neurons to 'imagine' my having to safely engaged in such a task, and having to force myself to stay on task with such extreme intensity every single second. Talk about being a creature of habit.

By the way, those of you who drive on the left are safe; I'm not anticipating visiting you!!!

marymary100 - 11-3-2016 at 21:49

I did it in reverse, as in came to America and suddenly had to drive on the right. My driving test in the US consisted of driving round the block which as cities are built on grids makes a kind of sense.

sceptre - 11-3-2016 at 22:03

Only time I've every driven on the right was on a bike which wasn't so bad as all the controls were in the same place , just leaving me to
mind the road and not force my right hand to do strange things ;)

marymary100 - 11-3-2016 at 23:26

At least in America there are no roundabouts - or at least there were none in DC/Springfield

LSemmens - 12-3-2016 at 00:06

It would be a mindshift and can cause some confusion as people do tend to develop habits or automatic responses to situations which could get you into trouble in an crisis if you swerve right when you should swerve left. The nearest thing to anything like that I ever had to deal with was driving European import cars. the turn signals are all on the left of the steering wheel with the wipers on the right. Most Aust cars the opposite is true. I'd often turn on the wipers when trying to make a turn.

JackInCT - 12-3-2016 at 00:09

Originally posted by marymary100
At least in America there are no roundabouts....

I presume that a roundabout in the UK is the equivalent of a "traffic circle" in the USA; YES, they still exist; not many, but still around.

The road system in the USA evolved in the older (land earlier settled by the 'colonists'), literally, from cow paths/stage coach lines/whatever; long, long before any auto, and next to no what are now called 'zoning and planning commissions', I. e., you could build anything, anywhere. While the increase in the population, and the vast increase in the number of cars, attempts have been made to straightened out many of the twisting and windy roads with limited success re having to take the land for such "improvements" by eminent domain.

Couple that with the 'perception' of the 'charm' of semi-rural tree lined roads, together with the American Dream of speed, and you have road disasters by the score. To put it in the worse possible case perception, 'you ain't seen nothing yet if you haven't been on a 'back road' during a snow storm' as the burb folks head to their jobs.

marymary100 - 12-3-2016 at 08:37

I was a passenger once in a snowstorm that came on after the "snow day" was declared. It took my colleague 4 hours to drive to his house in a journey that usually lasted 20 minutes. He was a nervous wreck by the time he got home and my husband had to drive to come get me.

John_Little - 12-3-2016 at 10:22

I have driven in France in my own car and in Corsica and Lanzarote in hired cars. The worst bit about Lanzarote was they had deep rain water ditches right on the side of the road - a few inches from the line. And I couldn't see them from where I was driving.

And the worst thing in France was starting out in the morning and coming to your first roundabout (possibly traffic circle) and being tempted to go the wrong way round. It does mean you have to keep your wits about you.

JackInCT - 12-3-2016 at 14:23

Originally posted by John_Little
...had deep rain water ditches right on the side of the road

I still have very vivid remembrances as a young adult driving in the USA state of Louisiana for the first time on what that state classified as a 'state highway' (supposedly a main thru route) without any guardrails along the edge of the road (New Orleans is in Louisiana); much of that part of the state is wall to wall swamp bayou (with all the creatures that typically live in a swamp). If you, as an example, happened to get a flat tire at a good speed, and swerve, you could very likely wind up in the swamp (it certainly wasn't shallow water).

John_Little - 12-3-2016 at 15:17

I bet it made you drive carefully.

JackInCT - 12-3-2016 at 16:47

Originally posted by John_Little
I bet it made you drive carefully.

I believe the attached image file will answer your 'question'.

By the way, I really was expecting to see some varmint crossing the road, but none did. Perhaps that 'mindset' was instilled by all the Hollywood horror movies of the 50's & 60's; now my mindset is filled with the horrors of movies such as, "On The Beach", "Dr Stangelove...", & "Water World".

John_Little - 12-3-2016 at 17:13

Yup. That would do it.

Katzy - 12-3-2016 at 22:11

I've driven in France, quite a bit. Apart from nearly pulling out into the wrong lane, at a junction, I found it pretty simple. When overtaking, as I was in a left-hand drive car, I actually ound it easier, once I'd figured things out, coz I just hugged the kerb and found I could see further ahead of the car in front, than I could from the offside.

Driving in Italy was phun, coz Italian drivers are exactly as their stereotypes suggest.

Mental. :D

I followed one, in a little Fiat, across the mountains, on one of those wiggly roads. There were concrete posts, along the open side of the road, and I swear he hit every one of them and didn't ever stop, even though bits were falling of his car!

the bear - 14-3-2016 at 00:39

Originally posted by sceptre
Only time I've every driven on the right was on a bike which wasn't so bad as all the controls were in the same place , just leaving me to
mind the road and not force my right hand to do strange things ;)

If its the same thing? Years ago I offered to drive a car from Manchester to the ferry in Plymouth when I went to pick up the car I found it was Right-hand drive; it was an interesting trip, to say the least, shocked_yellow

regards the Bear waveysmiley