If you’re used to driving in the United States, then chances are the idea of driving on the left side of the road is the wrong way in your mind. When driving in other countries like the United Kingdom, Japan or India, if you plan on renting a car on your travels, you’ll need to learn to drive on the left side. Find out how to get used to the change and look for signs you’re going in the right direction from the experts at Online-Drivers-Licenses.org.
Follow the Leader
Look for cars with local license plates and follow their lead. If you’re unsure of which way to turn, just look for citizens of the country you’re driving in to lead the way. As natives of the land, they’ll always know which way is the correct flow of traffic, and as long as you follow along at a safe distance, you won’t end up going the wrong way.
Read the Signs
The Online-Drivers-Licenses.org team recommends taking the time to look for signs that indicate a change in traffic pattern. Places like airports will often have signs coming out of the rental car port for tourists, letting them know they aren’t home anymore and need to adjust to driving on the left-hand side of the road. Similarly to the U.S., the roads abroad have signs indicating when someone is driving the wrong way. Make sure to pay attention to those.
Do a Test Drive
Look for a large parking lot with lots of turns and aisles to practice in. Hotels and airports will give you the best space to work in as there will be minimal interaction with other drivers and wide streets and roads to get the hang of turning toward the left-hand side of the road. The Online-Drivers-Licenses.org experts also recommend renting an automatic vehicle, as getting accustomed to a left-handed manual car can add extra stress.
Look Where You’re Sitting
In countries where you drive on the left side of the road, the driver’s side of the car is on the right. It might sound confusing, but it helps to orient yourself based on where you’re sitting in the car. Whichever direction you’re going, the traffic traveling in the opposite direction should always be passing you as you drive, not your passenger’s side. If you can wave to your traveling neighbors outside your window, you’re in the clear.
Avoid Crowded Cities
It’s stressful enough dealing with heavy traffic in your own hometown, but even more so in a foreign country with new driving rules you need to learn. If possible, try to get a car outside of the city limits or in a smaller town where the roads are more open, there’s less traffic and it’s easier to go at your own pace.
Remember, it’s Opposite Day
The team at Online-Drivers-Licenses.org recommends you take note of which side of the road you end up on when making turns in your everyday route at home. Notice when you make a right turn, you end up in the lane closest to you, whereas when you make a left turn, you end up in the lane farther from you. When driving abroad in places like the U.K., India, Australia, and others, the opposite occurs. To remain on the left side of the road in these countries, remember to go in the opposite lane you would at home. When making a right turn, you’ll go into the farther lane, while a left turn should land you in the closer lane.