How To Drive In Foreign Countries

15/04/2019
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Travelling is fun, but it can be quite a task to drive in foreign countries.. Read this article to find useful tips and advice when driving outside India.

No matter how you are familiar with the driving in India, it does not guarantee that you can drive in other countries without any difficult. One among numerous reasons for this is that many countries around the world has established a law requiring their citizens to drive cars on the right side of the road which is contrast to India. Therefore, Driving in foreign countries requires certain knowledge and information which IndianAuto are introducing to you in this article.

Should you always drive on the left?

right driving and left-driving countries

Countries with right-driving are more in number than those with left-driving

As a matter of fact, in many countries, drivers are supposed to control the steering wheel on the left of their vehicle while driving on the right half of the road. Obviously, this driving law differs from the one in India where follows the United Kingdom’s driving law as most of the Commonwealth countries do. Therefore, whenever you are in other countries, be aware of which side you have to drive on.

How to drive at the roundabouts?

a roundabout

You need to follow certain rules when entering a roundabout

As mentioned earlier, many countries have established the law of driving on the right. Therefore, at the roundabouts, you should keep in mind the following common rules:

  • Yield to drivers in the roundabouts

  • Do not stop in the roundabouts

  • Signal before proceeding to an exit

  • Avoid driving next to oversize vehicles

If you are about to enter a multi-lane roundabout, remember to enter the correct lane. For example, get in the right lane to go either straight or right; and get in the left lane so that you can turn left or go straight.

Lane discipline is a requirement

While not prevelant in Inida, driving in foreign countries requires lane discipline. That means every individual has to drive in one’s lane and move between lanes smoothly without obstruct anyone else. Here are a few advice:

  • Take a glance at your mirrors to ensure it is safe to others and yourself before changing lanes

  • Signal when you want to change lanes

  • Don’t drive slow in fast lanes

How to drive at the intersections?

impressive junction

When driving at the intersections during rush hour, extra patience needed

Patience is all you need when crossing junctions, especially, when the green traffic light turns off. In other words, when the light almost changes into red, do not get in an intersection because you probaly won't make it to the other side, which may lead you to heavy fines and, worst, accidents.  In addition, do not make an attempt to jump queue by switching lanes.

Pedestrian safety is a priority

It is weird that in some countries you have to stop when a pedestrian crosses the streets even though there is no pedestrian crossing nor traffic light at all. However, in most countries, you need to show respect to pedestrians by let them finish crossing and step on the pavement although the red light has turn off. In some cases, pedestrians can press walking signal on the traffic light and the vehicles shall stop for them to cross the streets.

Maintain a safe distance

maintain car distance

You need you keep a safe distance depending on what the vehicle in front

Maintaining a safe distance is crucial as whenever the cars in front of you suddenly get crashes, you can brake in the nick of time and the chance of getting severe accident may decrease. In some countries, you shall be responsible for not keeping a safe distance with other cars and the fine will probably high. In case a driver tailgates you, instantly brake increase the distance between the car in front so that you can have more time to react and you don’t accidentally tailgate the car in front.

Know the speed limits

Driving at high speed will give some of us thrill, but as in India, there are speed rules all over the word. It is a must that you must acknowledge the speed limit of where you will drive; otherwise, you will be fine heavily. Furthermore, if there is maximum speed limits, there has to be minimum ones. When you drive in highways, usually, you are required to drive in a certain range of speed, for instant, 60 kmph to 120 kmph. This is because highways are designed for fast driving; and if you drive slow, you may end up being hit by a car (or a sequence of cars) from behind.

Utilize the light signals.

turning right signal

If you want to turn left, remember to signal others

Depending on your intentions, use the light signals wisely. The hazard warning light is turned on  to signal an immobile vehicle or stationary hazards only. Don’t drive when the hazard warning light is on, especially when it is foggy which may confuses other drivers. Also, When a person flashes the headlamp, he or she tends to signal drivers who probably may not recognize your existence. Don’t always turn on the high beam mode, which can get you a fine. Lastly, if you intend to turn right or left, you’d better know which signal should be used.

Be careful when parking your car

Be aware of where you are going to park. The easiest way to know the right way of parking is observing how other vehicles are parked. Observe how other people park their cars and simply follow them and things will be just fine. And if you find any markings which indicate the lot for car parking, drive your car in the area marked by the lines and your car shall not straddle the lines.

Always honking is not a good habit

no honking sign

In some countries, you will be fine heavily if you honk at night

In foreign countries, especially developed countries, people rarely honk unless they face specific situations. Like the purpose of flashing headlamp, they honk only to notify the drivers who don’t recognize their presence and are about to cause severe damage to them. If you have a tendency towards road rage, you will be likely to honk repeatedly during traffic jams, which does not make the situation better but worse in terms of emotion of the people around and you. There are also laws prohibiting you from disturb others’ sleep at night by honking; if you really can hold the urge to honk during the night time, you may be fined heavily.

Protect your car

You should not leave anything valuable in your car as they can be stolen. Even though you close your windows and lock your door, the thiefs can break them to grab and take your stuff. In some cases, they can also steal your car mirrors; therefore you may need to protect the mirrors as well.

Read more tips and guides from IndianAuto

Also read

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4 Amazing Practical Driving Tips For Women

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