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Odd Driving Customs

Odd Driving Customs

Old Jun 11, 06, 11:56 am
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by alanh
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.
This is one very confusing law, that caused a couple my friends to have an accident, and i very nearly had one.
It is basically yeilding to the guy with the longer turn.
But New Yorkers are the absolute worst drivers
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Old Jun 11, 06, 12:50 pm
  #62  
 
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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?
This "left turn signal" usage is common in Germany in the passing lane, it is indeed a warning to the cars in the right lane that you are travelling at a high rate of speed and intend to pass. When I lived in central Ohio during harvest season beware when driving on small country roads, turn a corner and you're face to face with a combine taking up both lanes, better ditch it or see how a row of corn feels, lmao!

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Old Jun 11, 06, 12:53 pm
  #63  
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Originally Posted by BamaVol
I think I recall reading them described as "amber" in a state-issued driver license book.
I think they call them "amber" in the UK; at least, I have heard people say that someone is an "amber gambler," which must mean they run a light.
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Old Jun 11, 06, 12:56 pm
  #64  
 
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Chicagoans' bad habit

Drivers on the expressways (as freeways are quaintly called here in Chicago) believe that if you signal for a lane change, you needn't look to see if another car is in your way.
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Old Jun 11, 06, 2:26 pm
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Bigez747
But New Yorkers are the absolute worst drivers
I guess you havent driven in NJ or MA or FL for that matter.
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Old Jun 11, 06, 3:40 pm
  #66  
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Originally Posted by cpx
New Jersey jug handles are one of a kind. you go right before the intersection
and wait at the traffic light to make your left. You cannot make a simple left.
(its an official term, not just a local custom)
I've rarely seen these anywhere else on the planet.
Sounds just like the Melbourne hook turn (but with right and left switched of course).
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Old Jun 11, 06, 9:24 pm
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer
Sounds just like the Melbourne hook turn (but with right and left switched of course).
Its similar, but lot worse in NJ. Atleast its well signed in Melbourne.
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Old Jun 11, 06, 11:26 pm
  #68  
 
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I almost got seriously broadsided the first time I encountered a St. Louis U-turn.

These happen at intersections with 4-way stops, which the city has in great abundance. The custom is to make a left-handed u-turn precisely in the center of the intersection, and signaling is not expected. If the car entering the intersection from your immediate right does not pause to make sure you don't turn, you can end up broadsiding them. U-turns are completely illegal on public roads where I learned to drive; I wasn't expecting something like that at all.
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Old Jun 12, 06, 12:10 am
  #69  
 
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Originally Posted by Dromomaniac
In many places - Phoenix area comes to mind - Green means go, Yellow means speed up, and Red means next 2 cars can go. In other places, Yellow means slam on your brakes. (This just comes to mind, but I wonder if there's a difference in traffic codes regarding it being legal to enter the intersection on a yellow light, and being legal to be in an intersection when the light turns red. Anyone?)
After they started installing pedestrian counters, many more started slowing down for yellow lights, because the drivers can now predict when the light will turn yellow. The law says that you have to clear the intersection before the light turns red and if you're in the intersection when the light turns red, you must clear it as soon as possible.

What irritates me is when some (non-local) drivers stop for flashing yellow lights (all it means is caution!) what's up with that?
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Old Jun 12, 06, 12:12 am
  #70  
 
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Originally Posted by cpx
New Jersey jug handles are one of a kind. you go right before the intersection
and wait at the traffic light to make your left. You cannot make a simple left.
(its an official term, not just a local custom)
I've rarely seen these anywhere else on the planet.
I've seen these near Cancun as well as in other countries.
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Old Jun 12, 06, 8:13 am
  #71  
 
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Originally Posted by Palal
The law says that you have to clear the intersection before the light turns red and if you're in the intersection when the light turns red, you must clear it as soon as possible.
Ah, that is interesting.

In Oregon, for example, the law says you must stop at a yellow light, unless unable to do so in safe manner. So one can be written a ticket for blowing a yellow light. Perhaps that is why Oregon drivers are so, uh, cautious.
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Old Jun 12, 06, 2:49 pm
  #72  
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Interesting thread.

I've driven in many countries all over the world including quite a few in Latin America. I am used to and expect to encounter potholes, various animals on the road, cars with poor emissions, poor (or no) lights, and overloaded trucks. But having just returned from Peru, I can say that we have a new winner for "craziest place to drive." Driving in Peru made driving in Thailand look like a leisurely cruise through the countryside.
Man, they are agressive in Peru! Driving from Lima to Huaraz - about 6 hours, we almost got hit head-on TWICE! People just cut the blind corners on the mountain roads without thinking that perhaps another car may be coming the other way. In the cities, lanes mean nothing, the air quality is awful because all the cars are belching unregulated emissions and traffic lights and stop signs are merely suggestions. Constant horn honking completes the picture.
We also got one flat tire, and had to bribe a cop in Lima. Next time, I think we'll hire a driver.
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Old Jun 12, 06, 2:55 pm
  #73  
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Originally Posted by g_leyser
Interesting thread.

I've driven in many countries all over the world including quite a few in Latin America. I am used to and expect to encounter potholes, various animals on the road, cars with poor emissions, poor (or no) lights, and overloaded trucks. But having just returned from Peru, I can say that we have a new winner for "craziest place to drive." Driving in Peru made driving in Thailand look like a leisurely cruise through the countryside.
Man, they are agressive in Peru! Driving from Lima to Huaraz - about 6 hours, we almost got hit head-on TWICE! People just cut the blind corners on the mountain roads without thinking that perhaps another car may be coming the other way. In the cities, lanes mean nothing, the air quality is awful because all the cars are belching unregulated emissions and traffic lights and stop signs are merely suggestions. Constant horn honking completes the picture.
We also got one flat tire, and had to bribe a cop in Lima. Next time, I think we'll hire a driver.


Sounds like India.. but better
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Old Jun 12, 06, 3:01 pm
  #74  
 
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Originally Posted by Tsukiji
Priority to the right in Belgium. I will never understand why traffic comes to a halt in a major traffic circle to allow cars to enter from the right without stopping.
While this rule is difficult for people unaccustomed (and especially those accustomed to driving in the US, where I learned to drive) it actually makes for very efficient traffic flow. You avoid complete stops when they are not necessary and traffic is always moving. Better for fuel economy as well (less acceleration and braking). And not quite so annoying as driving in a neighborhood late at night but still having to make complete stops.

However, in the Netherlands at least, cars in the roundabout always have priority and cars attempting to enter the roundabout must yield, and wait for a free space to enter. This seems much more logical because it keeps traffic moving in the circle and allows the roundabout to empty quickly.

Some strange/bizarre customs in Uganda:
  • Drivers always seem to use their highbeams and often switch them on with oncoming traffic approaching.
  • Similarly, the warning lights seem to replace the turn signals and sometimes drivers randomly switch them during rush hour (and Uganda drivers are very liberal with staying within the lines, if they exist at all).

Some interesting/helpful behavior in South Africa:
  • When approaching a slow car ot truck, they will often move into the shoulder making it easier to pass. (Problem with this is that it can be dangereous if there are cars/pedestrians in the shoulder ahead or around a blind corner but it is still helpful.)
  • Drivers flash their lights and warn you when speed cameras are ahead. Big plus.
  • Another way of saying "thank you" (especially useful in cars with blackened windows or at night) is to briefly flash one's warning lights.
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Old Jun 12, 06, 3:07 pm
  #75  
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Originally Posted by schwarm
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.

For maximum benefit, one then lowers the car and fits enormous rims with ultra-low profile tires so that it's impossible to drive over 25mph without serious damage to one's spine and suspension.
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