I have and not having gone to driving school over there or even
being able to understand German, have had to guess at the rules.
There seem tb three cardinal rules. I'm sure there are plenty
more, but these three really jump out at me:
1) Always have your turn signal on when changing lanes or
crossing any sort of lane marker.
Putting it on while changing doesn't count.
Stand by an area where a truck is parked such that
cars have to cross the center line and you can see
them - car-after-car - flip on the turn signal before
they cross the line.
2) Always, always yield the lane to closing traffic.
If they have to slow down, you didn't yield fast enough
and the offended driver is obligated to flash their high
beams repeatedly, scream, curse, and (if conditions
permit) shake their fist out the window.
3) Never, ever, for any reason, under any circumstances
pass on the right.
This makes adherence to #2 a lot easier. You pass
somebody, flip the signal on, pick your opening, and
ease back in the lane... Yeah, you look... but there's
never anybody there - the knuckleheads that speed up when
somebody "tries to cut them off" having been removed
from the gene pool by some unknown mechanism.
When I was there, everybody seemed tb playing by the same rules,
things may have deteriorated by now with the EU and so many more
drivers from other countries....
Start a thread in a driver-related forum on the proper way to
come down an on-ramp and merge with freeway traffic and you'll
soon see that there is substantial lack of agreement on driving
practices in the USA and near-fanatical adherence to opposing
ideas of what the rules are.
All that being said, my German relatives (motorheads all...)
express relief at how much less stressful it is to drive in the
USA than in Germany.
I've been the front-seat passenger with my 23-year-old nephew
(born/raised in Germany, not particularly faint of heart...) and
seen beads of sweat on his forehead... and it wasn't summer....
In Mid-Eastern countries, I keep hearing most drivers just don't
care that much because "...it's in God's hands..."
Try Mexico City.
I drove in Austria this spring. What got me is there are NO SHOULDERS.
And that's not just on the AutoBahn. And yes, they DO drive a bit
faster than most drivers on the Canadian 401 - and with a LOT more
When I drove in Puerto Rico a lot of years ago, I thought it was
The secret was eye contact... make eye contact, and good things
Turn signals, OTOH, seemed to intimidate people. "What's that
*blinking*????? Better avoid that nutcase."
I read a "driving documentary" once with statements like:
"In Mexico, never stop unless a policeman draws his gun."
"In Japan, a pedestrian directly in front of your car has the
right of way. It is your duty to ensure he never gets there."
“In the field of language teaching, Method A is the logical
I think Turkey or Egypt are the worst.
Mobile wrecks going as fast as possible. They believe every thing is
"Inchalla" so they can do what they like, it makes no difference. No
seat belts of course.
Lima is pretty bad too. Lunatics.
It is always a puzzle to me when someone slows down when they see a
cop. Reality is that if they want you they alredy have you before
you saw them. Slowing down is only an admission you were speedign.
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