Do You Struggle with Driving Abroad?

If you do, you certainly are not alone. We are, of course, talking about countries that drive on the right side of the road, and 45% of drivers told the AA driving school survey that they had come across problems trying to navigate safely abroad.

Remember Where You Are

Worryingly about 9% of those surveyed said that they actually forgot that they needed to be driving on the right side of the road and carried on driving on the left. Clearly, this is a recipe for disaster as they risk a head-on collision with traffic coming towards them. 3% confessed that it had led to a very near-miss experience, and 5% said they forgot and, although they started out on the right, drifted over to the left. Of course, it is pretty tricky for your brain to adapt when you have been driving a certain way all your life; however, the AA is warning people to be on high alert and think carefully when going in a new country.

Lots Going On

One of the reasons that drivers are caught out is because of the nature of busy arrival points. Generally, if you are driving in Europe, you arrive by Eurotunnel or ferry, and if you are flying in, you are likely to rent a car from the airport. All of these destinations are really busy, and getting out requires a lot of concentration as you navigate road signage to help you on your way. Add to this the confusion of driving on the right and 80s little wonder that drivers who normally drive on the left really start to struggle. It also doesn't help if you've had a long journey and are feeling tired, you haven't got enough sleep. You really do need to up your concentration.

Junctions and Roundabouts

Of course, driving on the right is only one part of the problem. You didn't have to navigate junctions and roundabouts and drive at night. Over 34% said it was all very stressful. Interestingly those aged under 24 had the most issues navigating right-hand traffic, and of course, they have less experience with the roads. Drivers over 65 were the most likely age group to forget where they should be driving and end up on the left.

Other Issues

Another issue raised by a lot of drivers is the fear of breaking down in a foreign country. Luckily the AA is on hand with European breakdown cover for its drivers, and this makes things slightly easier as you simply contact them as usual, and they will assist. The AA has also encouraged drivers to be careful with satnav and allow plenty of time for any journeys. If you feel unsafe or overwhelmed with driving on the wrong side of the road at any time, you should find somewhere safe to rest and take a break. Finally, it is worth remembering that speed limits, parking rules and the look and feel of road signs can be very different in other countries, so you need to give yourself time to acclimate.