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Driving on the wrong side of the road [split]

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  • Driving on the wrong side of the road [split]

    Originally posted by mike renfro
    Maybe we'll have to rethink the no driving in Europe. Maybe no driving in continental Europe.
    Careful. The British do it backwards. :-)

  • #2
    Originally posted by tandfman
    Originally posted by mike renfro
    Maybe we'll have to rethink the no driving in Europe. Maybe no driving in continental Europe.
    Careful. The British do it backwards. :-)
    In our one extensive trip in GB (NOT UK, no NI), 6 weeks, the wise woman did really well dealing with the car being on the wrong side of her. We did cheat, we took the motorway from Heathrow to Cambridge, which gave her a "get used to everything being wrong" whilst not having to deal with two way traffic. There was only one glitch, coming out of a roundabout, she exited into the right lane. The Brits let us live

    PS, the emoticons seem to have gone away. Again

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mike renfro
      In our one extensive trip in GB (NOT UK, no NI), 6 weeks, the wise woman did really well dealing with the car being on the wrong side of her. We did cheat, we took the motorway from Heathrow to Cambridge, which gave her a "get used to everything being wrong" whilst not having to deal with two way traffic. There was only one glitch, coming out of a roundabout, she exited into the right lane. The Brits let us live
      Did you try parallel parking? I find that to be the toughest part of driving in places like GB. Everything you do is totally backwards, and the sight lines are just the opposite from what you're accustomed to. The well-developed senses that you have about how close you are to the curb and to other cars just don't serve you well when you're doing everything in the 'wrong' direction.

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      • #4
        I have never driven in a country where they drive on the "wrong" side of the road but parallel parking might actually be easier for me. Being blind in my left eye, I have poor depth perception in mid-range and kinda " park by feel".

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        • #5
          When we went to GB two summers ago, one of the scariest things I've ever done was come out of the airport and merge into FAST traffic on one of those M-roads and try to merge my way LEFT to the slow lane. I thought I was gonna die.

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          • #6
            Lonewolf, being blind in one eye puts you one good eye up on most Houston drivers. I think that is why I have little problem driving in Britain -- it seems tame compared to the maniacs here.

            When I first moved back to the US, a year after I actually learned how to drive, on more than one occasion I found myself yelling at oncoming drivers to get out of my lane...oops.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tandfman
              Did you try parallel parking? I find that to be the toughest part of driving in places like GB. Everything you do is totally backwards, and the sight lines are just the opposite from what you're accustomed to. The well-developed senses that you have about how close you are to the curb and to other cars just don't serve you well when you're doing everything in the 'wrong' direction.
              Actually, the only city of any size we drove in was Edinburgh. There, we just parked in a big dirt lot on the outskirts of the main drag. Somewhere along the line, we may have parallel parked, but it was not traumatic. When we got back to London, we dumped the car back at Heathrow and took the train/tube combo to the B&B we had reserved and took public transit the rest of the trip. We did do a side trip to Barcelona for the WCup, but we didn't drive in Catalonia.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lonewolf
                but parallel parking might actually be easier for me. Being blind in my left eye, I have poor depth perception in mid-range and kinda " park by feel".
                Possibly an understatement here?

                Originally posted by mike renfro
                There was only one glitch, coming out of a roundabout, she exited into the right lane.
                Were you using stick shift? It always takes me a while to get the feel of it again.

                My biggest problem is with the narrow roads, I'm talking country lanes with high embankments. Invariably the oncoming traffic is approaching at about 50 and you feel like there is about 2 inches to spare. There is literally no where to go so sometimes you just have to get as far to the left as possible and hope that's enough. Obviously there is slightly more than two inches but not more than a couple of feet.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gm
                  Lonewolf, being blind in one eye puts you one good eye up on most Houston drivers. ..
                  I have driven in every major (and minor) city in the US and I think that could be said of virtually every one of them. The sheer volumne and speed of traffic in Houston and Dallas can be intimidating and New York City is pretty bad because of the penchant for putting three lanes of traffic in each two lanes but I nominate Boston as my least favorite city to drive in... not so bad when you get north across the Charles but...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lonewolf
                    Originally posted by gm
                    Lonewolf, being blind in one eye puts you one good eye up on most Houston drivers. ..
                    I have driven in every major (and minor) city in the US and I think that could be said of virtually every one of them. The sheer volumne and speed of traffic in Houston and Dallas can be intimidating and New York City is pretty bad because of the penchant for putting three lanes of traffic in each two lanes but I nominate Boston as my least favorite city to drive in... not so bad when you get north across the Charles but...
                    I vote for Montreal to be the most insane city to drive in all North America. It combines the worst of America and Europe.
                    "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                    by Thomas Henry Huxley

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                    • #11
                      I'm with lonewolf. The drivers in Boston are really scary. I've driven in Montreal a couple of times (though not recently) and I don't remember anything unusual about it. Maybe I was just lucky.

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                      • #12
                        The one fun thing about driving in Britain is the playing of 'English Roulette' (like Russian Roulette but with cars instead of guns). As you approach a roundabout, you guess how fast you can enter, what lanes are available for maneuvering, and how you can get out without killing anyone. I was getting really good at the end of 2 weeks. I'd approach at about 50mph and then zig-zag my way through with horn a-blarin'! What Ugly American??!!

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                        • #13
                          I've driven fairly extensively in Ireland and I found it relatively easy except in the one "instinct" situation when I found myself doing exactly opposite from what I should have been doing. I've driven a stick when there. The biggest thing that helped- I'm left handed and right eye dominant. So I'm probably best suited for "wrong" side driving.

                          The thing I disliked the most- the Germans who ferried their big cars in and drove like nutters on very narrow roads when everyone else signaled their intentions constantly and yielded as much as possible if you were passing them.

                          And I kept trying to get into the wrong side of the car to drive.

                          On a side note- my wife had a French roommate who taught her the secret to parallel parking- 1/3rd, 1/3rd, 1/3rd. Line up rear bumpers with car you're going to park behind and go straight back 1/3rd the length of your car. Turn fully for 1/3rd the length of your car. Straighten out for 1/3rd the length of your car. It works like a charm.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bhall
                            On a side note- my wife had a French roommate who taught her the secret to parallel parking- 1/3rd, 1/3rd, 1/3rd.
                            Learned that in 1968 in Drivers Ed, have always tried to do it, have yet to succeed.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Marlow
                              Originally posted by bhall
                              On a side note- my wife had a French roommate who taught her the secret to parallel parking- 1/3rd, 1/3rd, 1/3rd.
                              Learned that in 1968 in Drivers Ed, have always tried to do it, have yet to succeed.
                              So what do you do when you have to park on the street?

                              Surely it can't be harder than landing on a rinky dink, ice covered, runway in Iceland?

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