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Extreme Gizmologist
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2,347 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Had absolutely no problem riding on a self-guided motorcycle tour in Australia in December 2007. Riding on the left side of the road was different, but thankfully all the motorcycle controls were the same and all you had to worry about was which lane you were riding in.

Now I'm in Cornwall UK. First time ever driving a right-hand-drive manual transmission car. Driving on the left side isn't so bad, but driving a manual at the same time is tough (I guess I'm just relatively uncoordinated left-handed). Doesn't help that most of the cheap British rental cars have really wide A-pillars so you have to look around them to the left and right to see if you're about to run into something. The old country roads (which have probably been in existance for hundreds of years) are really narrow and the locals don't seem to mind zooming by while I'm cowering with the left side of the car into the hedgerows.

I never had any problems learning to drive (parents started me driving when I was 14). If what I'm experiencing is what some 16 yr olds feel like when they start to drive, no wonder they wreck with increased odds. I've run up on the left side curb more than once.
 

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The Bassman Rocketh
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25,244 Posts
I can't imagine how confusing and uncoordinated it must feel to shift with the left hand while depressing the clutch with your right foot...

I'd feel like I was learning all over again
 

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Warning V2k Onboard
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1,585 Posts
Truth be told, the really dangerous bit is when you go back home.

When you are driving on the wrong side you are so aware that you rarely make a mistake.
But when you get back home you are comfortable and suddenly you turn a corner and your brain gets lost. You find yourself thinking, is it that side or this side.
Remember, Drivers side to the middle of the road.
It gets even more confusing when you drive a wrong handed car on the wrong side of the road.
 

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Extreme Gizmologist
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2,347 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
...when you get back home you are comfortable and suddenly you turn a corner and your brain gets lost. You find yourself thinking, is it that side or this side.
Great! Wonderful! When I get back to Maryland and find myself in the left-hand lane wondering why the opposing driver isn't to my right I'll start swearing at him and he'll be doing the same.
 

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Premium Member
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222 Posts
Truth be told, the really dangerous bit is when you go back home.

But not right away. About 2-3 weeks after you get home and comfortable again it will happen. Watch out for it!
 

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TV Guru
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11,779 Posts
...The old country roads (which have probably been in existance for hundreds of years) are really narrow and the locals don't seem to mind zooming by while I'm cowering with the left side of the car into the hedgerows.
You mean like this?



Or this (pay close attention to the end where the truck appears):

http://ken.bowell.net/sections/travels/videos/m1006.wmv

Those were from my trip to Ireland and Scotland, but same environment.
 

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Norfolk,England
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240 Posts
It can be very odd for us Brits to go driving in Europe. Although we take our own vehicles so have the 'normal' left handed shift change, we are driving on the wrong side of the road and the car as well, with the driver up against the curb.
It can make for interesting overtakes if you are on your own:eek:
 

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1,678 Posts
I spent almost week in Trinidad for a wedding, and I got to spend some time driving around in a right hand drive Nissan Sunny, at least I think it was a Nissan. I didn't have too much trouble with the transmission - though it was a manual - but I remember I kept turning on the windshield wipers every time I went for the turn signals! I also remember the car had bald tires, the roads were all narrow and twisty, often through the mountains, and they had no stinking guardrails! That was a creepy feeling. All in all, I really had fun with it, so much so that I barely drank at my friend's wedding. I didn't want anyone trying to take away my keys. :tongue:
 

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TV Guru
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11,779 Posts
I spent almost week in Trinidad for a wedding, and I got to spend some time driving around in a right hand drive Nissan Sunny, at least I think it was a Nissan. I didn't have too much trouble with the transmission - though it was a manual - but I remember I kept turning on the windshield wipers every time I went for the turn signals! I also remember the car had bald tires, the roads were all narrow and twisty, often through the mountains, and they had no stinking guardrails! That was a creepy feeling. All in all, I really had fun with it, so much so that I barely drank at my friend's wedding. I didn't want anyone trying to take away my keys. :tongue:
Guardrails? In the UK, they don't need no stinkin' guardrails. That's what the sheep are for:

Don't Look Down
 

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Premium Member
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820 Posts
I had the same experience - driving a manual car in the UK. Interesting to say the least, but doesn't take long to get used to it, but I would sometimes revert back to the US side when turning into an empty street. What was worse for me was crossing the street on foot - looking the wrong way first can be a bad, bad mistake!
 

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:biggrin:

i must say that i did enjoy my experience with a manual Mustang in the US.
I adapt quite easilly to different sides of the road having driven on the Continent on the right quite a few times, but i do like the shifting with the right hand... it feels a little more natural, but it does leave your weaker (left) hand on the steering wheel (which is a little dangerous unless left-handed).

i like your "left on red" traffic lights too.

but we get roundabouts!! :biggrin:
 

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:biggrin:
but we get roundabouts!! :biggrin:
We had some great circles here in Jersey, but they've been taking them all out. A bunch of weanies are too scared to drive 'em right. :toetap:

I do remember being in Bermuda. Riding on the left, riding a scooter with my wife on the back, and hitting a roundabout. Going in the wrong direction - for me - dealing with the narrow road and the big LCF trucks while going around that circle. Talk about pucker!! :tongue:
 

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Premium Member
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820 Posts
:biggrin:
but we get roundabouts!! :biggrin:
I love roundabouts - it's one of the greatest inventions ever for traffic!

I wish we had more of them here in the US instead of all the stupid lights!

I'm starting to see more of them, but only in some small isolated areas like shopping malls and new housing developments.

I've actually gotten so used to driving with the left hand, that it's actually my stronger "driving" hand, with better control over the wheel than the right - and I'm right-handed.
 
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