Nearly 70% of the world drives on the right-hand side of the road, there’s a good chance you will be too when you holiday abroad. With so much to already take on board, such as different highway codes, new driving etiquette and unfamiliar scenery, we thought we’d give you some helpful pointers to make life in the other lane as safe and stress-free as possible.
If you’ve never driven on the right before, or never driven a left-hand drive, then first take the car for a gentle spin down a quiet road or around the hire centre car park so you can get used to everything being on the ‘wrong’ side.
Don’t try anything flash
Let yourself get used to the new positioning before you attempt any complex manoeuvres on busy roads – again, have a drive around the car park at the hire centre if you’re a little apprehensive.
Ask the passenger
If you have someone else in the car with you then they can act as useful extra eyes, especially when reversing or parking. They can also act as a navigator, allowing you to get on with the job of concentrating on the road ahead.
Vehicles will of course overtake on the left, rather than on the right, so keep a weather eye on your left wing mirror and also on the blind spot over your left shoulder.
It sounds obvious but remember that everything works the other way around – traffic on roundabouts flows counter clockwise and you need to give way to traffic coming from the left. Similarly T-junctions in right-hand drive countries give priority to vehicles approaching from the left.
This will give you plenty of time to make good driving decisions, react to potential hazards and also to see what other road users are doing.
Be especially careful in case of pedestrians – they may not be where you expect them!
Take a break
We fall into old habits even more when we’re tired, so if you feel fatigued then have a rest.
Make yourself aware
Familiarise yourself with any particular road laws or driving etiquette for the country you are visiting. Knowing in advance what is normal and how things are usually done may save you a lot of bother.