Every country has its own unique rules when it comes to driving. One of the most obvious differences is the side of the road that cars are required to drive on. If you’re used to driving on the right side of the road, what happens when you find yourself in a country that drives on the left side? There are things you can do to ensure that you’re able to adjust and get the hang of it. Whether you’re in India, Australia, or the United Kingdom, there are ways to get the hang of it. Keep reading to find practical tips for driving on the left side of the road.
Drive with a Companion
Although this depends on your circumstances, if it’s possible, find someone to drive with you when you’ve got to master driving on the left side of the road. This can help you focus on the drive and avoid having to focus too much on the navigation. In order to unlearn a habit within a short period of time, the reality is that you need a lot of concentration seeing as you may not have the 21 days they say it takes to transform a habit.
Get to Know the Car
One of the main differences with driving on the left and right side of the road is the kind of car you’ll be driving as well as the side of the road you’re on. You will find that while you’re used to all of the controls being on the right, they’re on the left. This can take some getting used to, so get to know the car, understand where all of the important controls are, and make sure you’re comfortable before getting out on the road.
Ask for Advice
Sometimes, all of the help you need is at your fingertips, but you’ve just got to ask the right people. Having said that, if you’re getting a rental car from the airport, speak to the car rental on-airport operators as they should be able to offer you useful advice. Don’t underestimate how helpful this advice could be in terms of giving you more confidence and knowledge you need to make it a less daunting task.
Speak to Yourself Out Loud
One of the toughest parts of learning to drive on the left side can be making turns. This is because you’d typically be used to making them on the right, so you have to make a conscious effort to do the opposite. Try saying left out loud continuously until you get around the corner as a way of helping until you fully get the hang of driving on the left.
If you don’t usually get insurance with your rentals, when driving on the left side of the road, it’s the perfect time to get it. Knowing that you’re covered could give you peace of mind while you’re driving. Learn more about your options, how much coverage you’ll get and whether it’s reasonably priced.
Take Your Time
It’s crucial that when you drive on the left, you take your time and not rush. This means driving relatively slower than you usually would without causing traffic and taking your time to navigate the road. Merging traffic effectively is also important as this is a time that you could be vulnerable to your car getting hit or you hitting someone. To prevent this, indicate before changing lanes and be sure you’re in the right one. Also, know that it’s okay to take a break if you’re feeling overwhelmed and pick up from where you were once relaxed.
It’s crucial that you accept that while you’re driving, you’re likely to make mistakes. If not, you could make yourself more nervous than you need to be and end up making life-threatening mistakes. Make sure you don’t over think things and maintain the same confidence you have when driving on the right said. To keep your confidence high, reinforce positive driving habits such as keeping your hands on the wheel at proper positions. You may also want to try adjusting your mirrors to cover your blind spot and avoiding driving while you’re sleepy.
As obvious as it may sound, minimizing distractions while you’re driving could make the world of a difference if you want to get the hang of driving on the left side. In order to do this, get rid of your first major distraction which is usually your phone. Switch it to drivers mode and avoid trying to text or answer calls without first pulling over. Aside from this, avoid multitasking and be sure that if you have kids or pets in the car, they’re well-entertained and don’t distract you.