Harris Scott Kreichman – How to Drive in Another Country
Harris Scott Kreichman and I have traveled to over 50 countries together in the last 10 years and during that time we have of course has some incredible experiences. Every time that we go to a different country it is always our preference to rent a car and drive, rather than taking trains, planes or busses. Naturally the fact that we drive has introduced us to some interesting, crazy and downright dangerous experiences, as driving on foreign roads always present something of a challenge. If you are going on vacation and you want to drive when you are there, here are some tips which you should bear in mind.
Know Your Car
Once you first get the rental car it is essential that you take it for a spin somewhere quiet, in order to get to know how it is. This is really important because you need to know how quickly it brakes, how long the car is and how powerful it is. The last thing you need is to be on a road that you don’t know, go to overtake only to discover that you don’t have the power you thought, and then have cars behind you trying to get past, and obviously frustrated.
Learn the Rules
Before you hit the road in your car it is important that you have checked online to see exactly what the rules are in the county in terms of their Highway Code. Now in most places you will find that laws are pretty universal, especially around speeding and highway instructions, but don’t assume that things are like this because for all the similar rules that there are, you can also find some big differences for simple stuff. In the UK for example you have to stop at a Pelican Crossing if there are people waiting, try that in Mexico and you’ll end up with a convoy of vehicles crashing into your rear.
Something else to bear in mind is what to do in the event of an accident. The Mexican example I have happened with Javier and I in Mexico, and we didn’t know that we had to wait by the car, with the other party, for an insurance vehicle to arrive and assign blame. In other countries all you need to do is swap details with the other driver, the point is, learn what to do if the unexpected occurs, before it actually does.
There are always unwritten rules in each country and you’ll also do well to learn what these are and pay attention to them, in order to avoid unnecessary problems. For example looking into right of way, when to let people past, whether or not to be aggressive or passive. This information can be found online in forums, which just give you a better idea for how things work in other nations when it comes to those unwritten rules.
The key is to be cautious and sensible when driving, do that, arm yourself with info and you’ll be just fine.