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Driving on the right. How to adjust and stay safe!
In Singapore we drive on the left. We have our colonial history, specifically the Brits, to thank for this as they brought their driving habits with them.
The good news is that we will have no problem driving in other former British colonies like Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and India.
Hiring a car and driving in these countries while on holiday should be fairly simple, but with only around a quarter of the world driving on left, there might well be a time when you have to adjust to the other side of the road.
Most of Europe tends to drive on the right except the UK, Malta, Cyprus and Ireland. The USA, China, Russia and Canada also drive on the right. Canada, being a former British colony, used to drive on the left but changed to make crossing the border into the USA easier!
Safety tips for driving on the right
Driving on the right is an adjustment for your brain, eyes and body. Budget Direct Insurance has some pointers to help you on your way.
- Before you attempt to drive abroad, make sure you have travel and car insurance with Budget Direct Insurance and take these on your trip.
- If you plan to hire a car in a right hand driving country, you will be sitting on the left hand side of the vehicle. You will be changing gears with the opposite hand - an automatic car may be an easier choice.
- Try to find a car hire place in a quieter area (out of the city and not at the airport), it will give you time to practice before you hit major traffic.
- Check yourself, especially at junctions or roundabouts to ensure you keep to the right, drive more cautiously at first until you get used to it. Remember your right shoulder should be nearest the yellow lines or kerb.
- On a dual carriageway or one with multiple carriageways the fast lane is the left land, and the slow lane is the right lane.
- Check your mirrors thoroughly before making a maneuver, signal in plenty of time to let other drivers know what you are doing.
- Oncoming traffic will be seen from your left. This means that when you turn left, you will cross oncoming traffic.
- Traffic lights and signs will be mostly on the right hand side of the road.
- On a roundabout you will be travelling anti clockwise.
- The first couple of times you drive abroad take a passenger to help you navigate.
- Use a GPS system, it will help you concentrate on the road rather than looking for street names and directions.
- Most of the time you will be following cars and this will help. Take extra care when you are the lone car on the road and in car parks. Try not to be the lead car at a junction.
Lastly, count how many times you go to get in the wrong side as you head for the driving wheel! Old habits die hard, so take extra care.
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Wherever you go, whatever you do, remember it’s vital to have good car, motorcycle and travel cover.
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