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Driving on the "Wrong Side" some tips for survival


Driving on the "wrong" side of the road can be as scary for Right Hand drivers as it is for Left Hand drivers. For both groups the challenges are the same and for both the keys to overcoming difficulties are largely the same as well. The challenges fall into the obvious and the things you will actually do.

First. You will walk to the wrong side of the car. You will do it more than once, but the more you concentrate on visualizing the correct side of the car for driver entry, the better you will be at all of the other tasks because keeping your focus is the most imprtant task.

Second. Most controls are exactly where you think they will be and that makes most operations pretty simple. The most obvious difference is the stick shift which is still in the middle of the car so get used to another hand working the shift but rest assured the clutch and the gas haven't moved. What has moved on you (most cases) is the windshield wipers and turn signals. The turn signals on most cars are on the outside of the column and the wipers are on the inside or center side of the column. My wife always knows when I am about to turn while driving in Australia becasue the wipers come on. (Note: Some European cars do not adjust the wiper position when marketing in Britain and other alternate side driving countries so they present problems for the natives.)

Third. Visualize the drving experience as much as possible befgore getting behind the wheel. I start on the plane I watch movies and try to visualize myself making the correction for the side of the road. I practice driving in my head. The more you do it the more likely you are to at least get in the car correctly at the airport!

Fourth. The most dangerous place for driving is on deserted roads and at night. When there is traffic there is always a reminder of proper lane position. When you are alone and it is dark you have less help and must concentrate that much more.

Fifth. As obvious as it seems . Do not drink at all. One beer is one too many when the driving involves out of the ordinary conditins. Stay safe.

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