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Odd Driving Customs

Odd Driving Customs

Old Jun 12, 06, 3:08 pm
  #76  
cpx
 
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Originally Posted by SchmeckFlyer
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.)
I've seen this in many countries. Even in US I've seen this on
single lane highways.

  • 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.
Same with the flashers. I've seen this being used in several countries as well.
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Old Jun 12, 06, 3:10 pm
  #77  
 
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Originally Posted by NNH
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.
In addition to it being next to impossible to drive up steep cubs (the curbs and sidewalks being pretty high in LA) without the car making painful (and embarressing) noises in the process, while the cheap Honda Accord with 3" rims behind is waiting impatiently and trying to speed up.

Reminds me of a Top Gear episode when they made a huge spectacle of themselves when driving very exotic and expensive cars in Paris, and attempting to exit a cramped parking garage (barely fitting widthwise up the ramp) and then having enormous difficulty driving onto the street without damaging the cars themselves. A crowd of curious Parisians formed to watch it all...
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Old Jun 12, 06, 3:50 pm
  #78  
 
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Originally Posted by TMOliver
All over Mexico, ancient custom required that after twilight, cars would flash their lights when (a) coming up on curves, of which Mexico has a Switzerland-sized allowance, and (b) as a signal to cars behind that no cars were approaching and it was semi-safe to pass.
Many years ago, I witnessed something similar in Brazil. When driving at night, if you came up on a slow-moving freight truck going uphill (or approaching a curve) they invariably would shut off their headlights, not just flash them. They would leave them off until you passed them.

I was told that it was done so the overtaking vehicle could tell if there was another vehicle approaching from the opposite direction. My thought was, what if the same thing is happening on both sides of the hill/curve?

Last edited by trvadct; Jun 12, 06 at 3:53 pm Reason: added an additional bit of information
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Old Jun 13, 06, 2:14 am
  #79  
 
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Yellow aspects of traffic signals are indeed known officially as "amber" in the UK.

I believe the starting sequence of UK signals, Red - Red and Amber - Green is unique to the UK, I have not seen it elsewhere in the world.

The turns described above as jug handle or hook turn are known officially in Britain as "G turns". Obviously as they are the other way round to the US that makes more sense. Some are quite substantial being arranged round the block of nearby side streets, often accompanied by a large diagram on a sign when approaching them.

Someone once asked me in my traffic engineering past why the coloured lenses of the green aspect of traffic signals are actually made of blue glass. Reason is the light bulb behind does not shine pure white but has a yellowish tinge, the glass lenses are therefore made not as the true colour required but to give that effect when lit by such a light.

To me the oddest foreign driving custom is the extent to which bribing of traffic police when they stop you is universal, common, rare, or absolutely a no-no. Fortunately in the UK we are in the last category.
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Old Jun 13, 06, 4:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Bogey90
In Italy, the horn is used much more than here in the USA. In Rome, I was driving in heavy traffic with a truck that would honk his horn at every traffic signal, when the light turned green. On the outside chance, I think, that the first car just might not see the light change.
Sounds like Manhattan to me. I kept giggling when I was there last week b/c at every light, someone 4-5 cars back would beep when the light turned green, even if everyone had started moving.

Speaking of NYC, I didn't know right turns on red were illegal (unless permitted by sign). Fortunately, my cousin explained that before I went out driving by myself. I have to say that I felt weird sitting at intersections and not turning on red.
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Old Jun 13, 06, 4:21 pm
  #81  
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Originally Posted by rhwbullhead
Sounds like Manhattan to me. I kept giggling when I was there last week b/c at every light, someone 4-5 cars back would beep when the light turned green, even if everyone had started moving.

Speaking of NYC, I didn't know right turns on red were illegal (unless permitted by sign). Fortunately, my cousin explained that before I went out driving by myself. I have to say that I felt weird sitting at intersections and not turning on red.
Just pretend you're 80 years old.
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Old Jun 13, 06, 4:24 pm
  #82  
 
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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'm from Australia and when I travel to the USA all of the drivers seem intent on driving straight t me. I've taken to driving a Hummer just to make my way around town.
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Old Jun 13, 06, 4:41 pm
  #83  
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Originally Posted by WHBM
Yellow aspects of traffic signals are indeed known officially as "amber" in the UK.

I believe the starting sequence of UK signals, Red - Red and Amber - Green is unique to the UK, I have not seen it elsewhere in the world.

.
In Israel the light changes to amber before it changes to green as well.
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Old Sep 4, 06, 12:37 am
  #84  
 
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Originally Posted by g_leyser
In Israel the light changes to amber before it changes to green as well.
In some places in Russia it does the same thing. First time I saw it I thought that the light was broken, but my driver said it is a warning that the light is about to change. And they do that because many Russian drivers put the car into neutral at red lights.
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Old Sep 4, 06, 12:46 am
  #85  
 
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Originally Posted by Bigez747
And they do that because many Russian drivers put the car into neutral at red lights.
And in many other countries of the world. In the UK, when taking your driving examination, if you don't go into neutral and apply your handbrake while waiting at the signals you will be failed.
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Old Sep 4, 06, 1:01 am
  #86  
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Originally Posted by taygalchi
The California "Creep":

I also learned not to "block the box" when driving in NYC. In L.A., I got yelled at for not blocking the box.
You mean... no one else creeps? And I shouldn't have honked at all those people in the rest of the country?

And yes, I hate it when anyone doesn't go into the intersection, especially when I'm behind them.

Originally Posted by WHBM
I believe the starting sequence of UK signals, Red - Red and Amber - Green is unique to the UK, I have not seen it elsewhere in the world.
I saw it around Lake Geneva as well. Of course, coming from LA I took it as an opportunity to accelerate a split second earlier.
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Old Sep 4, 06, 8:23 am
  #87  
 
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Originally Posted by redbeard911
In China it is common to cross over the double yellow to pass. Also, when turning left, instead of cars turning in series, they will turn in parallel when there is an openin. It's not uncommon for three cars to be turning left at the same time.

Oh, and that stupid horn thing.
My experience with China is that the lines and lights on the roads are merely "suggestions"
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Old Sep 4, 06, 9:22 am
  #88  
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Originally Posted by winkydink
My experience with China is that the lines and lights on the roads are merely "suggestions"
They seem to actually mean something in heavy traffic. In light traffic they don't mean much.

They also don't mean anything to right turners most of the time. I was nearly hit by a bus last trip. I was crossing the street, the light was in my favor. The offending bus was in the *LEFT* turn lane and people normally don't make lefts on red there. This guy was making a *RIGHT* turn, though!
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Old Sep 4, 06, 10:06 am
  #89  
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The amber before red is a signal for drivers in Switzerland to re-start their engine. I believe it is the law that motors must be turned off if you are not in the first few cars at the head of the line while waiting at a red light.

Air quality issue.
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Old Sep 4, 06, 10:33 am
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Teacher49
The amber before red is a signal for drivers in Switzerland to re-start their engine. I believe it is the law that motors must be turned off if you are not in the first few cars at the head of the line while waiting at a red light.

Air quality issue.
and they highly discourage you from letting the vehicle engine idle for
a long time and I've seen general public support this very well.
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