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#1
To whom it may concern,

Anyone here who is from UK (or other left side road users) and has drove a car around the mean streets of America (or any other right sided country), how easy is it to get used to? Not just in terms of the mechanics of driving, but also the general road rules.

Kindest regards,
Toby
xxx
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#3
I don't understand the facepalm. He just asked a perfectly reasonable question, one which I have wondered about myself (except in reverse).
#4
You should know that it's illegal to wear anything but a fedora when driving in Ohio.

Jokes aside: aren't road rules pretty much the same?
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#5
It's not hard. Takes a bit of getting used to, but it's not like you suddenly forget how to drive a car.

Also, there are no 'give way' signs. Stop signs mean stop.
#6
If you're gonna drive in the US you might need an international driving license. I know that for swedes driving in the US you may get away with showing your swedish driving license to anyone, but police in the US are not obligated to accept it.
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#7
i imagine getting used to driving on the opposite side of the road would be sort of difficult.

especially if you had any sort of substance in your system :p
#9
I live in England, so I normally drive on the left with a manual gear change car. I find it easier (and safer) to drive in North America than when I hire cars in Europe (especially Italy). You need to know some basic rules through - what to do at an all stop cross roads, when you can turn through a red light, never overtake a parked school bus with its lights on and stuff, but you soon get the idea - but study the rules before you get there and remember there are state to state variations. Where I work we have quite a few Amercians come and stop with us for a few weeks/months at at time and some of them struggle, especially with our signage and our traffic islands (roundabouts?). If they get a small hire car it will almost always be manual change, if the get a big one with an automatic gearbox they find it too big for many of our roads (and parking spaces). A few of them, if they are on a 6 month attachment have been known to take some driving lessons.
#11
A friend of mine drove in America and said the biggest difference he encountered was motorway manners. In the UK, you signal to move lanes and then wait for a driver to slow and make a space for you. I don't know if my friend just encountered a lot of asshole drivers but he said the expectation is that you speed up so they can get in behind you rather than slowing to make room for them. He nearly got in a few accidents this way.


Also lol automatics.
#12
Quote by Mistress_Ibanez
Also lol automatics.

Operating a clutch and a shift stick while driving is just too much for the average american.
#14
Quote by little_boy
Operating a clutch and a shift stick while driving is just too much for the average american.

European here, I don't understand why you want to stick to manual when you can have a much smoother drive with an automatic. It is not like you bring out a typewriter for your thesis, no you just use the far superior computer.
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#15
It's easy.

I only had 2 hiccups.

1) One was sleep-deprived stupidity at like midnight, driving on the left on an attempt road.
2) Was too far to the left when on the right and got beeped.

Oh and motorway driving. Apparently (according to my friend, as long as somebody is in front of you going faster, then you can speed. But that's [citation needed].

And New Hampshire is hilarious. 'Under 18's need to wear a seatbelt. It's common sense'. It isn't common sense for everybody to wear one?
Last edited by Tanglewoodguit at Jan 26, 2014,
#17
****in we goddamn invented automobiles and those nerds think they know what side of the road is better for driving
Listen. I'm sorry.
#18
There's the right filters which mean you can go right at some junctions even on a red light.
There's also the fact that on highways there doesn't seem to be a specified order to the lanes like we have. You can just overtake on any bloody side, confused the hell outta me.

And to the guy arguing that automatics are superior? No.
They're lazier, you have less control over what your car is doing and it's just another expensive part to go wrong. 0-60 is generally faster in a manual and better mileage.
So it's not so much bringing a typewriter to your thesis, it's more like bringing a computer instead of a tablet. Much more practical for the job.
Silverburst
#19
Quote by vilk
****in we goddamn invented automobiles and those nerds think they know what side of the road is better for driving

Silverburst
#20
Quote by Neo Evil11
European here, I don't understand why you want to stick to manual when you can have a much smoother drive with an automatic. It is not like you bring out a typewriter for your thesis, no you just use the far superior computer.

The automatic is more expensive both to buy and repair. There are usually more limitations as to how heavy a trailer you can pull (if we had the automatic version of our car, we couldn't get our boat to the water). And it's just plain out more boring to drive an automatic, I like the feeling of shifting gears when accelerating heavily.
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#21
Quote by Neo Evil11
European here, I don't understand why you want to stick to manual when you can have a much smoother drive with an automatic.

But where would you put your hand?
#22
Quote by Neo Evil11
European here, I don't understand why you want to stick to manual when you can have a much smoother drive with an automatic. It is not like you bring out a typewriter for your thesis, no you just use the far superior computer.


I totally get the point of automatic and why many folk prefer it, but I feel I have much more control of the car when driving manual, especially given the car I drive - feels far more natural.
#23
Quote by henrihell
The automatic is more expensive both to buy and repair. There are usually more limitations as to how heavy a trailer you can pull (if we had the automatic version of our car, we couldn't get our boat to the water). And it's just plain out more boring to drive an automatic, I like the feeling of shifting gears when accelerating heavily.

I think you have an exceptional case then. My parent's have never had to pull a trailer. I liked it when my father had an automatic, I hate it when the person next to me is shifting gears all the time. It's also horrifying when it goes wrong. Once I was on a very steep slope with my sister and she screwed up >.>

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#26
I've done the opposite -- driven on the left-hand side in New Zealand as an American. Didn't take long to get used to at all, although you might want to stick with automatic transmission vehicles.
Hi, I'm Peter
#28
I found the transition from manual to automatic combined with driving on the other side of the road to be a little strange at first. Kept reaching for the phantom clutch and stick (especially when braking a lot) and my positioning on the road was all wrong for a while (like whether to drive closer to the middle or the curb).

Though as someone else stated you can sometimes turn right on a red light at a junction which I did appreciate.
#29
You guys do know we drive manual over here too, right?
___

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#30
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You guys do know we drive manual over here too, right?


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#31
Quote by WCPhils
You guys do know we drive manual over here too, right?


Yeah but most of the people who do are teenagers with their shitty hondas who don't know how to drive anyway.
#32
Quote by Baby Joel
Also, there are no 'give way' signs. Stop signs mean stop.

We do have them. They're just called yield signs over here. They aren't very abundant but they are around.
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#34
Quote by Tanglewoodguit
Oh and motorway driving. Apparently (according to my friend, as long as somebody is in front of you going faster, then you can speed. But that's [citation needed].

Yes. In the states you're supposed to keep with the flow of traffic. If everyone around you is going 75 in a 60 you should also be going 75. Its safer when all the cars are going around the same speed, even if its over the speed limit.
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#35
Quote by genghisgandhi
the Romans drove their carts on the right side, so it's objectively the correct side.

I was objecting to the automobile being an American invention part, IDGAF which side you drive on.
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#36
Quote by angusfan16
My car is manual, and i'm not a teenager who drives a Honda.

nope, you don't exist
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she was saying things like... do you want to netflix and chill but just the chill part...too bad she'll never know that I only like the Netflix part...
#37
Quote by WCPhils
You guys do know we drive manual over here too, right?

You always hear on American TV shows etc people saying "can you drive stick?" as if it's a special skill and not a basic part of being able to drive. In the UK if someone couldn't work gears most would say they can't really drive.
#38
Hmmm, let's see

-Driving onto a main road from a side street can be a bit of a mindf*ck at first if there are no cars to show you the 'right' direction, so pay a bit of attention when you do so.

As a general rule: don't do anything on 'autopilot' for the first couple of days and you'll be fine

-The most important thing imho is that you constantly have to remind yourself that the shift in position you've undergone must be compensated for at all times in relationship to where you THINK you are on the road

Dunno if that makes a lot of sense but I remember driving in Ireland for the first time: I was constantly hugging (and often scraping) the hedges to my left whilst leaving WAY too much space on my right. When you're driving you often don't pay a lot of attention to your EXACT position on the road because your concentration often shifts to oncoming traffic, road signs, ongoing conversations in the back of the car, etc.

-And lastly, trying to shift gears with the wrong hand might be another possible issue. You'll often find yourself looking to see if you're doing it right, which means you won't be paying attention to the road for a moment... But since you're going to the USA I bet you'll be driving a car with manual handling so you've got that going for you which is nice

But um, yeah: keep reminding yourself to drive a few feet to the left of where your 'comfort zone' seems to be for the first couple of days, and if you keep leaning towards the right side of the road a little too often you can always ask your fellow passengers to remind you of these things. Driving through little country roads, parking the car, etc. can be a pain in the *ss at first, but if you're a decent driver you'll get used to it in no time (and will probably make similar mistakes once you're back home before you've grown used to the old situation)

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Last edited by shwilly at Jan 26, 2014,
#39
Quote by Insanity ninja

There's also the fact that on highways there doesn't seem to be a specified order to the lanes like we have. You can just overtake on any bloody side, confused the hell outta me.




You can overtake on either side, but generally you're meant to do it in the left lane. Slower drivers are meant to stay in the right lane if possible. I only pass on the right side if someone is going particularly slow in the left lane.
#40
Quote by daytripper75
You can overtake on either side, but generally you're meant to do it in the left lane. Slower drivers are meant to stay in the right lane if possible. I only pass on the right side if someone is going particularly slow in the left lane.


But if you overtake on your side, you're not overtaking. You're undertaking.
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