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Tips for driving on the left in England

Tips for driving on the left in England

Driving becomes a habit when we are used to a routine that we repeat every day. Most of the time we don't think about what we're doing when we're on the road. We automatically turn our heads to one side, we prepare to turn at a roundabout, cross, and go to the side of the road.

When we rent a car in England or the United Kingdom at an airport, in Plymoth, after a ride the ferryWe will go without thinking to the door on the left and we will see that the steering wheel is not there. Indeed, we look up and see that it is in "the passenger seat" on the right. You have to make yourself aware that everything is "backwards". Let's give some tips.

  • Apart from driving on the left, prepare yourself for two things that will prevent serious accidents. At roundabouts cars will come from the right. It is important that before entering them look to the right in case a vehicle is coming. Likewise, keep in mind when driving on the left that if you must turn onto a road that is on your right, you must look straight ahead at the cars that are coming from your right.

  • Be aware that you are going to drive on the left. Although the tendency will be to go to the right side of the road, you will have to continually think about placing your vehicle on the left of any road, highway, or road in general. Review road maps, try to mentally visualize that you are driving on the left, "see" where the vehicles are coming from in front of you, analyze and review on a piece of paper what you should do when you come to a roundabout or an intersection and have to turn towards one way or another. This "mental visualization" will help you a lot.

  • Keep your mind active, do not lower your guard, you will notice that in moments of relaxation ("putting the mental automaton") it is easy to make mistakes that can be serious. You always have to drive "very conscious", thinking about what you are going to do at all times.

  • During the first three days it is easier to make mistakes. Do not take long, complex and difficult journeys. Plan short and easy trips. If you can, try to be accompanied by someone from the area, or even, if you can, follow a familiar vehicle to "guide" you and train you in the "new routine of driving on the left."

  • Generally, on the fourth day it will begin to be looser. However, try to repeat routes you know to fuel your new routines and your new sense of direction to the left.

  • There is a tendency during the first days to get close to the curb on the left, with the risk of brushing against cars parked on the left, climbing on curbs, overtaking badly, etc. This risk is heightened if you switch to vehicles that are larger or different in size than the vehicle you are used to driving. Tip: it usually works to take the center line (on your right) of the roads you drive on as a guide, trying to keep the correct distance from that line.

  • Respect the rules and driving style of UK drivers. It is generally a very polite style. The right-of-way is frequently yielded and the aim is to make driving as easy as possible. We are politely thanked with a wave when someone gives way. A double signal of lights is indicating us that they give way to us.

  • When driving around the city remember some important indications:
    • Slow

      , written in large letters on the road surface. Indicates "slow", you should slow down.
    • Keep clear

      , also written in large letters on the floor of the track. It means "keep free". Yellow cross-striped rectangles or squares also have the same meaning. They are intended for drivers to leave free spaces that facilitate circulation in other directions, preventing large queues in one direction from damaging traffic in general. Be careful not to occupy these spaces when traffic in your direction is stopped.
    • Amber (yellow) traffic light

      Apart from the European meaning ("caution, red light change"), in the UK traffic lights also turn amber before turning green.
    • Parking lots.

      In some ticket apartments, the last three numbers of the license plate must be entered, before entering the currency for a certain time.
    • Respect the speed limits.

      There are cameras that will trip if the speed limit is exceeded. They are on special roads and there is a sign that indicates their existence.
    • Speed ​​Watch Community.

      In the towns and small towns at the entrance there is a notice of the existence of a "Speed ​​Watch Community", that is to say of a citizen community that is vigilant with speeding when circulating through the inhabited environment in question. Some of these communities even have a website. See for example this one from Cambridgeshire.

  • The importance of the steering wheel position if you are driving your own car from the mainland. Don't get too obsessed or worried about the driving situation. The advantage of bringing your own car is that knowing it makes it easier for you to focus on following the rules. You will also focus much better when driving on the road. If you have a good co-driver, he will help you pass or watch the cars coming from the right in the case of crossroads, etc.
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Video: DRIVING A LEFT HAND CAR IN THE UK (September 2020).