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Old 14-04-2005   #1
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Driving on the silly side.

Further to the other poll that I just started.

I have driven my own vehicles on the continent before and never had a problem.

Last weekend was my first experience driving a LHD on the continent and it was a major shock to the system. It wasn't so bad getting used to the gearstick and handbrake being on the wrong side, but silly things like where to look in the mirror or which hand to hold my fag in were more of an issue. As for lane positioning, that took a while to get a hang of. I was doing OK until I got into Barcelona town centre, what a nightmare. The lanes are about two inches wider than the car, they have roads with 7 lanes in one direction and only one lane the other way. Most of the roads are one way. The have arrows on the road implying that you can turn left/right, but then conflicting no left/right turn signs. Everyone drive at a minimum of 20 kph over the limit. There are junctions every fifty feet. You have to drive on the pavement or through precinct areas to get to where there is parking available. Some traffic lights are somewhat unclear, if you are not familiar with the local highway code.

As you can probably guess, it took some getting used to, but after two days, it was OK, I was just wondering what other people felt about their experiences of driving LHD vehicles on the continent.
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Old 14-04-2005   #2
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Re: Driving on the silly side.

Smeg, meant to add a poll, I guess comments will have to suffice.
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Old 14-04-2005   #3
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Re: Driving on the silly side.

I drove a Suzuki SJ413, or something, in Corfu many moons back.

There were 4 of us in it, and I was the only muggins with their licence. It was great fun, and decided to drive like the locals. Hit the mountains, and that was a bit more hairy.

My only 'error' was doing a 3 point turn up some mountain road - I automatically went back to the left side of the road, before Jules said something to me, lol.
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Old 14-04-2005   #4
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Re: Driving on the silly side.

Because most of my holidays have been driving holidays in France, we have done a lot of driving in France and never really a problem although of course my dad was still driving RHD. Only real 'fun' we had was when my little sister was rushed to hospital, but we didn't know where. Heavy rain on the limiter in our old R21 savanna (1.7 litre) doing over 110mph trying to keep up with a Ducato ambulance. When we hit a roundabout with a backlog of 50metres and it went through the centre, so did we, hitting our horn all the way! Oh that pissed off the Frenchies but we managed to keep up.

However, when we were with school in France once on the coach it was about a day into the trip so we had done hundreds of miles in France and Belgium already most probably and then I realised that after he had turned around he was now driving on the left. I left it for about 30 seconds thinking I was dumb then told my loud mouth mates who repeated what I said, LOUD! Next thing I know we drifted accross to the right side, phew!
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Old 17-04-2005   #5
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Re: Driving on the silly side.

Quote Originally Posted by Neofolis
I was doing OK until I got into Barcelona town centre, what a nightmare.
The first time I drove on the continent was in Barcelona, in a hire car, at night, in the rain, with a navigator who wasn't sure exactly where we should be going. As Neofolis says, no-one pays any attention to lane markings, traffic lights or speed limits. That was a steep learning curve....

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Old 20-04-2005   #6
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Re: Driving on the silly side.

Yep, that's indentical to my scenario.
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Old 27-04-2005   #7
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Re: Driving on the silly side.

I have driven on the continent both in a hire car and in my own car and i must say i think the LHD hire car was much easier.

Takes a while to get used to handbrake and gears but after a while your brain just flips around no problems.

In my own car its a nightmare, driving on the right in a RHD meant i constantly had to think about what i was doing!

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