The world is full of different people, habits and with that adventure. This adventure can take place when you find yourself lost in a German city with your knowledge of the local language limited to 'Autobahn', but also when you're actually on that Autobahn. Driving in a foreign country is an experience in itself, and the people at Auto Europe have experienced this first hand. We collected four odd driving quirks from around the world. Buckle up!
Let's kick off at the 'Autobahn', the German highway. The Autobahn does not have a federally mandated speed limit. It's advised to keep your speed at 130 kilometres an hour, but with the freedom of unlimited speed, you'll find a couple of Hamilton wannabes on the road. If you can't tell what the speed limit is, how do you know if you can overtake? The Germans found a perfect solution; if they are going faster than the car in the left lane, they'll flick their headlights - a sign for the driver in the left lane to get back into the right lane. This gesture is not mandatory by law, it's actually illegal, but when you find yourself on the highways in Germany on an afternoon during weekdays, you're likely to see it more than once.
'Give way to the right' is the standard rule in the Netherlands. There are exceptions though, which can be found on the ground in white little triangles. The Dutch call them 'shark teeth' and if you're at the sharp end of the triangle, you'll have to stop and give way. This comes in handy on roundabouts, where the 'give way to the right' rule can easily cause some traffic jams. There are still some roundabouts which don't have shark teeth, but they are usually located in the countryside where there's no heavy traffic. Standard rules apply, but give way to the traffic that's already on the roundabout. A final note: Shark teeth on cycle paths do not guarantee that a cyclist will stop - especially in the major cities. Keep a look out for cyclists and try to estimate their speed. Slow down and give them right of way when they don't stop. If the cyclist is an adult, the motorist is liable for 100% of the damages/injuries unless she can show the incident was beyond her control, or the cyclist was at fault - that's not easy however. With all the exceptions on the standard rule, we're kind of thinking that the rule should probably not be classified as 'standard'.
There is one specific location in France that every visiting driver prefers to avoid. Well known for the 'Arc the Triomphe', the Champ Elysees is an impressive site. Built in the mid-19th century by Baron Haussmann it was set out to make Paris the best and biggest city in Europe and not necessary to become one of the main roundabouts in the area. According to the Parisians, this is the only place where accidents are not judged and each driver is considered equally at fault. 'In Paris, a good driver gets only scratches, not dents'. Cars entering the roundabout have right of way and those already in the circle must make room. There are no lanes, so those who want to leave the roundabout need to end in the right lane at the right time. It sounds terrifying, but it really is all about paying attention and knowing where you need to exit before entering the roundabout. Nevertheless, it wouldn't hurt to take out zero excess insurance - just in case.
Located high in the Northern Hemisphere, it can be quite dark in Sweden during winter. In January, the sun will not rise in north Sweden, whilst southern Sweden can only enjoy 6 hours of daylight. With that in mind, it makes sense that it's mandatory to have your headlights on at all times. Well, not really. In winter, days may be short and dark, but in summer they are long and full of sunlight. The sun does not set in north Sweden and in the south they can enjoy up to 18 hours of daylight per day. Nevertheless it's mandatory, so keep your headlights on - even in the middle of summer.
If you're ready to experience one of these weird driving quirks which lies around the world, give us a call on 1300 656 601 to arrange your car hire, or book online today!