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Thread: Driving abroad

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by channa View Post
    Because you are wrong side of the road your wits are heightened and it is easy after the first 5 minutes, The problem as daft as it sounds is upon return and driving on the left I found

    Channa
    Spot on . You naturally concentrate more than normal . Must admit , a few years ago was in Dover getting euros before heading for ferry , first roundabout I came to I turned right !
    Premature perambulation
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  2. #12

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    Sure you'll have it sorted in no time. As already said, you'll concentrate more naturally, take it easy at first and within 15 mins you'll be driving like a French person :P

    Make sure left hand mirror is adjusted best as possible, be extra aware of blind spot. Throttle is still on the right
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  3. #13
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    Name: Pete
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    I've driven and ridden on the left many times and this little trick always helps.

    I move my wrist watch to my other wrist. This acts as a reminder.

    Watch out on roundabouts and when joining a road (e.g. from a side road or petrol staion.

    Good Luck and Enjoy.

    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
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  4. #14

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    Driving on the right is very easy once one gets used to it and I wonder why we do not do it here in UK, big logistic I know, if you have a sat nav , set it to remind you that you have to drive on the right, especially as you exit places like Supermarkets as that is when it is easy to forget, it seems so natural to go right round roundabouts, keep to the right on roundabouts even if you are going right round to the last exit, keep your left indicator going ,until your exit then signal right, do this until you feel that you can hug the roundabout,till your exit, you will find that Johnny Foreigner does pretty much what he wants when driving but overall I think the standard of driving is good over there?be aware that vehicles are joining your road from the right so keep a good look out for this when on faster roads , DO NOT flash your lights as a give way sign, Johnny Foreigner does not understand this generally, , a flash of your lights over there means LOOK I AM HERE , and just causes confusion,a lot of horn blowing is done , best to ignore this as it usually means nothing .Traffic lights do not generally have an Amber just green and red, there is usually a small light on the traffic light pole lower down from the main lights so that you can see what light is on if you are too close to the traffic light, if you are turning right at a traffic light and it is RED, there is often an Amber flashing arrow on the light , this says that you can turn right against a RED light if it is safe to do this,Be aware that the speed limit in all towns ,villages and cities is 50 kmp [30 mph ] even if NOT signed ] FRANCE but also Spain etc so be aware of this, there are also traffic lights that turn RED as you approach if you are driving too fast, or if someone coming the other way is driving too fast, this is just to control speed and is a great idea I think.

    When driving in uk it is the norm to stay in the left hand lane on roads, over the Channel just stay in the right lane until you are happy to start changing lanes , when exiting a junction and joining a road such as a T junction you will be looking RIGHT watching traffic BE AWARE that this traffic on your right in the opposite carriageway is COMING TOWARD you and not away as would be the case in the UK, the traffic on your left is ALSO coming TOWARD you TOO in the carriageway you are about to cross.sounds confusing but it is all easy just take your time double think your moves and you will be OK.
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  5. #15

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    i was very anxious indeed when i returned to france as a driver after 30 years absence from european roads. I made a big coloured paper arrow pointing right which i stuck on the dash where i had to see it when starting the engine. i initially set the satnav to No Motorways or toll roads and found this gave me a lot of confidence, as well as driving on more rural roads. if you are going to aire-overnight close to your port of arrival you could take the van for a local drive on your own the next morning for an hour before setting off for your destination for the day so that you are not anxious about back seat drivers comments initially. you will be surprised how short a time it will be before you can relax. Everyone else is driving on the right so you follow the vehicule in front. As others have said roundabouts are initially a bit of a challenge, but, dont rush. i spent all my time on rural roads and found the standards of driver's politeness and helpfulness was extraordinarily high. i wouldn't even think about going through Paris in my van (i cant due to emissions anyway). in 2 months i only drove round a roundabout the wrong way and that was because i had a passenger and we were giggling too much for me to concentrate. i found french drivers brilliant at flashing you to tell you there were gendarmes ahead with speed guns..... Enjoy ..... you will xx
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  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by delicagirl View Post
    i was very anxious indeed when i returned to france as a driver after 30 years absence from european roads. I made a big coloured paper arrow pointing right which i stuck on the dash where i had to see it when starting the engine. i initially set the satnav to No Motorways or toll roads and found this gave me a lot of confidence, as well as driving on more rural roads. if you are going to aire-overnight close to your port of arrival you could take the van for a local drive on your own the next morning for an hour before setting off for your destination for the day so that you are not anxious about back seat drivers comments initially. you will be surprised how short a time it will be before you can relax. Everyone else is driving on the right so you follow the vehicule in front. As others have said roundabouts are initially a bit of a challenge, but, dont rush. i spent all my time on rural roads and found the standards of driver's politeness and helpfulness was extraordinarily high. i wouldn't even think about going through Paris in my van (i cant due to emissions anyway). in 2 months i only drove round a roundabout the wrong way and that was because i had a passenger and we were giggling too much for me to concentrate. i found french drivers brilliant at flashing you to tell you there were gendarmes ahead with speed guns..... Enjoy ..... you will xx

    Good tip about the arrows on dash board Collette,
    I suppose it's easy to forget yourself at times.
    I'm a visual learner but I'll soon learn quick sharp when I have horns blowing at me and french baguettes thrown at me 😂.
    I know one bad experience will most likely put me off but need to tell myself to get back on the saddle .. I'm getting much better as I'm getting older trying new things, wished i had done these things years ago 😊
    Rise free from care before the dawn
    and seek new adventures.....
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  7. #17

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    Having done most of my commercial driving in Europe I can honestly say it is easier than the UK. I have never got it wrong abroad but twice I found myself trying to go around a roundabout the wrong way when in the UK after getting off the ferry. Fortunately both times on a quiet industrial estate.
    Last edited by antiquesam; 15-04-2019 at 13:10.
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  8. #18

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    I'm sure you'll be fine.

    The roads have a much lower traffic density and the French are very understanding to motorhome (camping-car) drivers.

    As has been said above I find it more likely I'll make a mistake when I come back!
    Remember - POI additions and updates can be sent by email to POI@wildcamping.co.uk

  9. #19

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    So long as you think about driving on the opposite side of the road when you first start off each day you will find it happens automatically because you can't go the wrong way roundabout as people seem to think you can,the roads are designed to send you the correct way round.
    I agree with others you have more problems when you return to UK

  10. #20

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    I reckon about two roundabouts and a left turn and you have it sussed, so not long to adjust.

    Last couple of trips I haven't made a mistake at all but I remember many years ago on my motorbike trying to turn right at traffic lights on a dual carriageway in some city or other, and seeing all the anxious faces of the French drivers staring at me. I hastily went straight on instead, good job it was a crossroads and not a T junction.

    The danger time seems to be first thing in the morning, had to shout at my husband a few times when he turned into the wrong lane coming out of the campsite.

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