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Odd Driving Customs

Odd Driving Customs

Old Jun 1, 06, 12:52 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by timstravel
1. Yielding to oncoming traffic making a left turn across your lane. Sure makes you feel good about yourself, who cares about the twenty cars behind you that have to come to a stop in support of your altruism. This is even better if there are 2 lanes in your direction, because then cars passing you on the right can easily collide with the one that you've encouraged to turn.

2. Making left turns from the right lane. You just drive down the right side of the line of cars waiting to turn, on the shoulder if need be, then at the last minute activate your turn signal thereby giving you the power to not have to wait like everyone else.

3. Making left turns across intersecting traffic by pulling out and blocking the rightbound oncoming lanes, then stopping and waiting for a chance to merge into the leftbound traffic no matter how long it takes.

4. Going straight across 80-90% of an intersection before deciding to turn left, instead of starting the turn as soon as possible. Maybe this is because they have lots of rotaries (traffic circles) up here?

5. Going the wrong way down a one-way street because otherwise you'd have to go around the block and your time is too valuable for that.

6. Double or triple parking.

7. Parking at an intersection so that others can't see oncoming traffic.

8. Stopping in moving traffic to let vehicles enter the roadway from right or left intersecting streets even though they are waiting at a stop sign. See #1, above.

9. Swerving into oncoming lanes because there is a car parked at the side of the road, no matter how much room you have to pass. After all, what would you rather do - sideswipe a parked car or head-on a semi? It's a no-brainer, like most of the drivers here!

Right on! ^ I thought I was the only idiot who observed this.
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Old Jun 1, 06, 12:55 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by remyontheroad
I've driven in a few countries around the world - not sure if I can remember which ones off the top of my head, but I'm sure they're out there - where people actually drive on the WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!!

You have no idea how many accidents they almost caused that way, when I was just minding my own business, driving on the RIGHT side of the road and they came head on at me IN MY LANE!

I'll tell you it was a miracle no one was killed!!

Nutjobs!


Well, in some countries thats a common practice and a very effective
feature for population control.


I've heavily driven in countries where they drive on the
left side of the road.. also in countries where they drive on the right
side of the road and in places where they pick any side and drive

I'll pick the 3rd one.. much better than any video game. its very real.
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Old Jun 1, 06, 1:56 pm
  #18  
 
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ST Croix (STX)

In St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, they drive US made cars with the steering wheel on the left hand side, but drive on the left hand side of the road (as they do in the UK and elsewhere). It takes a little getting used to before feeling comfortable!
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Old Jun 1, 06, 2:55 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by CaliforniasCentralCoast
In St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, they drive US made cars with the steering wheel on the left hand side, but drive on the left hand side of the road (as they do in the UK and elsewhere). It takes a little getting used to before feeling comfortable!
In Northern part of Cyprus, they have cars with left hand steering and
right hand steering on the same streets...
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Old Jun 1, 06, 2:59 pm
  #20  
 
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Talking

Originally Posted by Steve Fenton
not in england or japan ios doesnt they drive on the right
In Japan, they drive on the left side of road. Same goes for England. But in mainland Europe, they drive on the right side of road.

I should know, I am going to Japan again for my 3rd time this Saturday.

Back to the topic, the oddest driving custom in Japan is the right hand turn on a scooter. Basically its just like the Melbourne turn (right hand hook turn). You go through the intersection on a blue light and pull to the far left and turn your scooter and wait there at the crosswalk corner until the light turns green for normal traffic and you pull out in front of the traffic before they stomp on their accelerator.

Sanosuke!
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Old Jun 1, 06, 3:36 pm
  #21  
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In Mexico City they line up 5 or 6 abreast in the intersection when waiting to make a left turn. Typically onto a 1 or 2 lane street.
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Old Jun 1, 06, 4:51 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by BamaVol
I have lived in 9 states, driven in dozens more, as well as several other countries. Only in Alabama have I observed these 2 customs.

1. Turn signals for the car ahead of you. When a local driver activates his turn signal, he is likely to be copied by the driver behind him. I believe that the intention is to warn other drivers that this would not be a good time to pass. For a left turn, that makes sense, although it aggravates me that others automatically assume I'm not paying attention or am too impatient to tolerate the least delay or slowdown. Makes no sense for right turns (a less common practice) and potentially leads to other accidents because the signal is false.

2. Stopping for funeral processions. Put a line of cars on the opposite side of the road, with headlights burning during daytime hours, and the typical Alabama driver will pull off the road. I understand not cutting into one. I understand keeping intersections clear. I don't get pulling over. I've even observed it on multi-lane limited access highways. I thought I had witnessed a false procession pullover this past Sunday as I was in a long line of cars in a driving rainstorm. Turns out there was a tornado overhead and behind me that was causing drivers on the opposite side to stop.

These are my observations. Any from elsewhere?
From time to time you'll see this in the Midwest....usually in rural areas.

Is it just my perception....or does Alabama have its own little "Boston" when it comes to driving in Mobile?

I was having lunch with a customer a few years back, and on our way to the restaurant we observed a couple of particularly brazen traffic manoevers. (to put it mildly!!!)

My customer wasn't at all fazed by this. He simply announced, "Contrary to what you may think, Jack, they actually DO sell cars with brakes here. Its just that nobody's ever gotten around to ever using them".
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Old Jun 1, 06, 5:16 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by jpdx
Priority from the right in roundabouts, however, makes no sense, and although I can't dispute that these aberrations exist, I'd say that it's much more common to find priority for cars in the circle.
France switched from priority to the right, to giving priority to those on the roundabout. It was chaos for a while (I was there during it) as no-one knew who had priority, or who was going to assume that they had priority.

Originally Posted by gglave
I'm not sure I'd define it as an 'odd' custom - More in the category of a 'nice' custom, but it was neat to watch how, in Ireland, everyone flashed their hazard light to say "thank you" after you let them pass.
I have to remember not to do that when driving abroad, as I think it is a peculiary UK and Ireland custom. You can either use hazards (when thanking those behind you) or flash your headlights (for those in front of you - e.g. if they have let you through on a constricted roadway). Of course nothing is ever that simple, flashing your headlights in the UK can mean:
- thank you!
- You're an idiot and I would have tooted, but it wasn't that serious!
- You're driving the same car as I am!
- hello! (if you know the other driver)
- watch out, there's a policeman ahead with radar or speed camera
- watch out there's an accident ahead (usually I flash hazards as well, but not everyone does).
- you forgot to/need to turn your lights on
- there's a bit of your car which is obviously broken, and you will not be able to see it
- I'm an ambulance or police car wanting through (Ok, they also generally have blue flashing lights and sirens)
-move out of the overtaking lane, you are going too slowly and hogging it and I want to get buy - this is kind of a subset of the second one too...

So you need to learn to interpret flashing headlights in the UK with care... you can usually narrow it down to 2 or 3 possibilities
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Old Jun 1, 06, 6:00 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by Jenbel
France switched from priority to the right, to giving priority to those on the roundabout.
One of my favourite roadsigns as you approach a roundabout in France: "Vous n'avez pas la priorité." Certainly sums things up rather nicely.

However, I think l'Étoile in Paris is still priority to the right, but I don't know why they left it that way.
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Old Jun 1, 06, 7:24 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by timstravel
1. Yielding to oncoming traffic making a left turn across your lane. Sure makes you feel good about yourself, who cares about the twenty cars behind you that have to come to a stop in support of your altruism. This is even better if there are 2 lanes in your direction, because then cars passing you on the right can easily collide with the one that you've encouraged to turn.
I didn't know this had spread outside of Pittsburgh. At a red light, the first car making a left has the right-of-way on green over opposing traffic going straight. That's just how it is.

When I was in grad school, my Human Behaviour professor, who had recently moved to town, spend half a class describing the dynamics of the "Pittsburgh Left".
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Old Jun 1, 06, 7:44 pm
  #26  
 
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A strange rule in New Zealand is the "give way" rule for turns.

Two cars are approaching a side street from opposite directions. The car turning left must give way to the car turning right.

To cast it in driving on the right terms:
Two cars are approaching a side street from opposite directions. The car turning right must yield to the car turning left.

I think the idea was to make right turns (across traffic) easier. The main problem is that Kiwis don't use their turn signals any more than anyone else. Yielding to someone who's turning in front of you is a problem if you don't know they're turning.
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Old Jun 1, 06, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by CPRich
I didn't know this had spread outside of Pittsburgh. At a red light, the first car making a left has the right-of-way on green over opposing traffic going straight. That's just how it is.

When I was in grad school, my Human Behaviour professor, who had recently moved to town, spend half a class describing the dynamics of the "Pittsburgh Left".
I was just talking about this. As far as I'm concerned, the Pittsburgh Left is different than what is described above about Boston. In Pittsburgh, nobody is yielding to the left turner. That left turner is taking the right of way, traffic rules be damned. It is tolerated, but it is not a giving by the oncoming traffic so much as it is a taking by the left turning car it seems to me. The oncoming traffic moves right along if a left turning car does not choose to take the Pittsburgh Left.
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Old Jun 1, 06, 8:01 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by BigBopper
The custom here in NY is to drive with a fist with the middle finger extended.
Let's not forget one other, most important NYC custom. It's one I take with me everywhere I drive.

When you cut someone off, be sure and honk at them as if it's their fault you cut them off.
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Old Jun 1, 06, 8:53 pm
  #29  
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In Los Angeles they shoot you.
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Old Jun 1, 06, 9:19 pm
  #30  
 
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Actually, in LA, the strangest custom is for people to buy sportscars in the $150,000 - $350,000 range, with max speeds of 150 mph or much greater, and then to never drive them faster than 30 mph, stopping every 30 seconds, because of the heavy traffic and ubiquitous stoplights.
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