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Getting To Grips With Left Hand Drive

By raccars Published

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If you're planning to hire a car on holiday this summer, take some time to prepare for driving on the other side of the car, on the other side of the road. A recent survey, by travel comparison website Skyscanner, revealed that a third of British holidaymakers driving abroad fail to check the regulations of a foreign road network and a quarter of them fear driving on the right hand side of the road. Twenty four per cent prefer to pass foreign driving duties to partners.

If you are taking the wheel in a left hand drive country for the first time or if you've found the situation stressful in the past, there are a few points to consider.

To avoid drifting in the direction of the pavement, use the centre road marking as your guide, lining it up with your windscreen's left hand corner or with your steering wheel, if there are cars parked on the roadside. Take some time to revise what foreign road signs mean and use your partner as navigator and co-driver. This will allow you to focus on the road instead of peripheral distractions.

On a dual carriageway remember that the right hand lane is your standard progress driving lane and when you join the road you'll need to check the blind spot over your left shoulder - all exactly the opposite of the same process in the UK.

Turning left means cutting across oncoming traffic, so make sure you give way and try not to cut corners turning into junctions. At roundabouts you give way to the left and indicate right when you exit.

The survey results prompted Skyscanner to run a trial, one day Left-hand Driving School session, to which an avalanche of applicants responded. The success of the trial could see the programme become a course available nationwide. The trial course took place in south east London in a disused military parade ground. The ground was marked with parking bays, left turns and roundabouts - the three things survey respondents claimed represented their biggest challenge when driving abroad. A selection of foreign road signs were also included.

Participants were instructed in the basics of driving abroad, focusing on mirror usage and correct signalling.

Only about a third of foreign countries drive on the left as in the UK, so there is certainly a market for the lessons. Furthermore, Skyscanner has reported interest abroad, from foreign drivers looking to prepare for driving in the UK.

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