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Editor'S Choice - 2020

Tips for driving on the left

You have a fantastic holiday planned in Ireland, England or Australia, but there is something that does not let you sleep. Your mind keeps reminding you of a fact that is most disturbing to you: “These people like to drive on the left. Damn crazy!". However, you know that the best way to get to know any of those countries is by car, having the freedom to stop whenever and wherever you want, discovering every secret corner. We leave you ten tips so you don't feel like a stranger driving on the left side of the road.

And avoid a panic attack © Alamy

To stop having nightmares, from Skyscanner We are going to leave you ten tips for driving on the left.

First, some basic notions:

Why did it all start?

Most travelers (especially Spaniards or Latinos) think that the issue of driving on the left is another thing invented by the British to take the opposite. The truth is that it was the others who changed the natural way of walking on a path or route.

In medieval times, when a person walked or trotted on the back of a horse along the rough roads, he did not feel completely safe. The robberies and robberies were very frequent and for that reason he preferred that the person come in the opposite direction pass by the side of the hand with which he wielded his sword. Given that almost 90% of the population is right-handed, it is normal for them to walk on the left side of the road.

This remained until the French Revolution. The desire to go against everything established made the French will circulate on the right. In the coming years, both imperial powers would implant their systems in their colonies. After their independence, each country chose which system it adopted.

COUNTRIES IN WHICH THEY ARE DRIVED ON THE LEFT

Today, the inhabitants of just over a third of the world's countries drive on the left. They are nothing more and nothing less than 74, forming, many of them, part of the British Commonwealth.

A large number of countries in the southern cone of Africa stand out (such as South Africa, Tanzania or Mozambique); almost all of Oceania (Australia and New Zealand among them); Caribbean Islands; Suriname and Guyana in Southamerica; Japan, Thailand and Malaysia, among others, in Asia; Y United Kingdom and Ireland in Europe.

As for the tips for driving on the left, here we leave you:

1. BE INFORMED BEFORE DRIVING

One way to go quieter to any type of exam is to prepare it in advance. Driving on the left is a test like any other.

Before you hit the road, seeks information on the traffic regulations of the country in question. This way you will learn things about signaling, maneuvers that may be allowed there and in your country not (or vice versa), speed limits, types of roads, etc. The more information you absorb, the more relaxed you will get to the counter of the car rental office.

2. RENT A CAR WITH AUTOMATIC CHANGE

It does not fail. When someone first drives a manual gearbox whose steering wheel is located in the seat on the right, at the time of putting first, hit the driver's window glass with your right hand. Our instinct tells us that we must operate the shift lever with our right hand and it will cost us a mental effort to force ourselves to do so with the left. As we will have enough things to look at, It is best to rent a car with automatic transmission and forget about the gears.

3. CHOOSE A SMALL CAR

If it is difficult to get used to the size of a car that is not yours, the thing is more complicated when you also have to drive on the left.

In Ireland and the United Kingdom, for example, there are many rural roads that are really narrow. The price of not having the width of your vehicle measured is usually a good brand on the sheet of the vehicle. If you rent a small car, you will not have to be so aware of this problem.

4. PRACTICE IN A DEVELOPED AREA OR A GREAT PARKING

If it's the first time you're driving on the left, you should practice a little before. If it is spacious, take the opportunity to do so in the car rental company parking lot. If not, take a little-frequented rural road and familiarize yourself with the vehicle and the new way you should drive it. It is essential that you practice a little at the roundabouts and incorporations to traffic from both sides of the road.

5. START YOUR TRIP IN RURAL AREAS

Try to pick up the car in an office that is somewhat away from the center of a big city. Maybe the airport is a good idea. For an initial contact, it is not convenient for you to suffer the stress and nervousness of having to drive on the left in the congested arteries of places like London, Dublin or Johannesburg. Ideally, your first kilometers behind the wheel run along roads surrounded by rural landscapes. Of course, no matter how beautiful they are, don't get distracted!

6. LET IT PASS AND BE GRATEFUL

Remember that you are a rookie at the wheel and you are driving abroad in conditions that you do not master. Don't try to go faster than the locals, nor be the smartest in the class. If driving on the left makes you go somewhat slower, it facilitates overtaking the other cars.

In places like Scotland or Ireland, many of its narrowest roads are equipped, every few kilometers, with a kind of small shoulders where you can move aside to let the vehicles behind you pass. The drivers will thank you with the emergency lights. Do the same when they have the detail with you.

7. ASK FOR HELP FROM YOUR COPYLOT (OR USE A GPS)

When it comes to driving on the left for the first time, the motto that "Four eyes see more than two". Ideally, your co-pilot will help you and alert you to some things that are difficult for you to control, such as, for example, if you are too attached to the stripes on the road. It is also ideal to indicate the route to follow, reading a road map (long live the classic!) or interpreting what the GPS sneaks at. The less distractions you have, the better.

8. AVOID DRIVING IN THE GREAT CITIES

No one likes to drive through big cities full of cars driven by people who always seem to be in a hurry. If, in addition, you are not used to driving on the left, stress can become a major problem. If your route marks a great city, remember: The circumvallation arteries are your best friends.

9. DRIVE WITHOUT PRISONS

The most important of any road trip, regardless of the side of the road you are driving, is to arrive well at your destination. Never forget. If you are not used to driving on the left, simply do it with much more care and without any hurry. In addition, surely your companions will thank you because they can better enjoy the beautiful landscape through which you take them.

10. IN CASE, CHOOSE A GOOD INSURANCE

Most car rental companies apply a franchise system that makes you have to pay a significant amount in case the vehicle suffers any damage. If you are a rookie in the art of driving on the left, it is best to do so with the least possible number of concerns. Hiring a much more complete insurance, you eliminate franchise issues and acquire greater coverage, being able to feel less pressure behind the wheel.

Ask the co-pilot for help © Alamy

Video: Driving in the UK for the first time - See what I did to make the transition easier. (March 2020).

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