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Tips for driving on the other side of the road.

Tips for driving on the other side of the road.

May 17th, 2019, 01:36 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,565
>>>>My EX BIL gave me the handiest tip..just remember that the driver's body needs to wind up on the centerline of the road after finishing the turn.<<<<

This is the tip I was going to offer. The driver is aligned with the center of the road. Roundabouts are less frequent in the US so that might be helpful.

I suspect your trip will be largely driven on big highways which will be easier than navigating dense urban traffic.

When we drive to visit family in the UK, I am the driver and my husband is the navigator. Even with GPS guiding direction, it's helpful to have another set of eyes making sure the driver doesn't go into auto-pilot. It's tiring so don't rush and take breaks, especially ones to enjoy the scenery.
obxgirl is online now  
May 17th, 2019, 02:25 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91,843
Good luck. I have no tips for you. I've never driven on the other side... and never will
suze is offline  
May 17th, 2019, 02:42 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I have the same issue only backwards - driving in the UK and Ireland.

Converting is not as hard as one might imagine. If one is a competent driver at home it is easier of course. My bi problem is after I'm back home and have to return to driving in the right.

After the first couple of days your biggest worry will be in Parking lots/car parks where there are fewer visual cues AND many people drive wherever they want and cut across drive lanes.

On freeways it will take more vigilance because most places don't have the rule of only passing on the left. Cars will be going every speed in all lanes and passing you on both sides. I tell my UK/OZ friends to just stick to the 'slower' right lanes on multi lane freeways for the first few days until they get acclimated. That way people won't be passing them on the right. The problem with that though is that on ramp and off ramp traffic uses those lanes.

But you'll soon get comfortable. Most of my friends love driving out West once they get their 'sea legs'.
janisj is online now  
May 17th, 2019, 03:14 PM
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
I have the same issue only backwards - driving in the UK and Ireland.

Converting is not as hard as one might imagine. If one is a competent driver at home it is easier of course. My bi problem is after I'm back home and have to return to driving in the right.

.
I disagree. I do think most competent drivers can make the switch but underselling it isn't especially helpful.
obxgirl is online now  
May 17th, 2019, 04:14 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Great comments about right on red being allowed. Not sure about NZ but turning on red is never allowed here in Australia.

Was thinking what seemed strangest about driving when I first "switched" to the left. And it was feeling like I wasn't sure where my tires were in relation to the shoulder side. I became acutely aware of the passenger side, the side I would normally sit on, and was skirting the white line, which my passenger wife frequently expressed concern about

If you notice how you're driving now, you notice you don't really think about the passenger side. You know if you're aware of how close YOUR side is to the centre line or lane separator, then the rest of the car is ok too. For some reason, because it feels so strange at first and you're meant to be sitting <- over there, you (or at least me) keeps wondering what's going on over there <-.

Try to remind yourself to just stay focused on your side and maintaining the normal distances on the drivers side. As long as you're not turning or changing lanes, the rest of the car should keep up.

Last edited by CounterClifton; May 17th, 2019 at 04:17 PM.
CounterClifton is offline  
May 17th, 2019, 04:23 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Was thinking what seemed strangest about driving when I first "switched" to the left.

For me it was near constant glancing in the rear view mirror...as a passenger. And that feeling that someone was always coming at me from the right. Made me downright twitchy.
Melnq8 is online now  
May 17th, 2019, 04:26 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,750
>>I disagree. I do think most competent drivers can make the switch but underselling it isn't especially helpful. <<

I don't think I undersold anything at all. I talked about the problems in parking lots and passing willy nilly on the freeways etc. You pick out one little phrase . . .

What I meant was usually converting is not as difficult as one might imagine - because many people think it is really REALY hard. It is a tricky transition but not as dreadful as many people fear.
janisj is online now  
May 17th, 2019, 05:20 PM
  #28  
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Cannot do free turning right on red here in NZ. Also the four way give way is not done here either.
nelsonian is online now  
May 18th, 2019, 09:39 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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No one said it was "hard". Or if they did, I missed that post.

It's different. Millions of people do it. It's doable. Helpful hints help.
starrs is offline  
May 18th, 2019, 12:39 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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I thought of one problem had last June in England. Wanting to make a left turn, I found myself checking over my shoulder, as you might changing lanes in the US. This is of course exactly the wrong direction to look, as the traffic in that lane will be oncoming. Luckily, I caught myself before cutting someone off.
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May 19th, 2019, 06:56 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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When we rented a car in Scotland years back they delivered it to us in Armadale when we got off the ferry. The man who delivered got in the car and gave us two pieces of advice, based on years of renting cars to Americans who would now be driving on the left.

1) Each time we get in the car, look at each other and say out loud, "Drive on the left". Say it periodically while driving, especially when making a right turn (i.e. like a left turn when driving on the right).
2) Don't over correct by going too far to the left (i.e. drifting to the right when driving on the right.)

Seemed like excellent advice and we had no issues. Last year in Wales we met two other tourists who had missed point 2) and had clipped the left side of the car.

Good luck, most people seem to do OK, especially away from cities.
Nelson is online now  
May 20th, 2019, 02:47 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,630
For me, the best tip is to have a passenger who will help you remember which lane to drive in
november_moon is online now  

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