What to do when turning at an intersection.

When riding or driving in another country we often become confused at intersections and exiting car parks and driveways. Pedestrians also get used to looking a certain way before crossing a street. Here are a few tips to get you over the shock of driving on the wrong side of the road.

I’ll begin with Right hand drive countries i.e Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand and The United Kingdom.

In these countries we drive on the left side of the road. This means that pedestrians will automatically look right before crossing a road as they expect cars closer to them are approaching on the right.

At intersections a left turn is easier as it’s a short left turn. The right turn is a long right turn. As illustrated in the below diagram.

turns-left-hand-drive

 

Alternatively in Left hand drive countries i.e Canada, China, South America and most of Europe they drive on the right side of the road.

This means their right turn is a short right turn and the left turn is a long left turn.

Pedestrians will also need to remember to look left before stepping off the curb as the traffic is coming from the left. See the below illustration.

turns-right-hand-drive

Just to recap if not going straight through an intersection,

Australia = Short left and long right

America = Short right and long left

The major problem spots are intersections, car parks and exiting driveways. Keep alert and you will not have any trouble.

Pedestrians can and should look both ways before stepping off the curb.

NOTE:

Turning right on a red light.

Unless there is a sign to the contrary, you can turn right on a circular red traffic light throughout the USA and Canada, except within New York City. You can’t turn right on a red arrow or if there is a sign saying to the contrary. You must STOP and make sure the way is clear of traffic before starting the turn. BE CAREFUL.  If in doubt, don’t.