General Question

Tanlander's avatar

Do you think (road rules aside) that every country has its own driving 'culture'?

Asked by Tanlander (71points) December 17th, 2010

I do. Learning it is almost as important as learning the rules. Only you can’t pick up a handbook on driving culture.

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17 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

Not only countries – I have lived in US cities with different driving cultures.

In Chicago my impatient friends say I drive like a little old granny. In LA people think I am an aggressive menace.

YARNLADY's avatar

I agree with @jaytkay Different areas in the United States have different cultures. In some drivers are polite and careful, while in others, road rage is common.

flutherother's avatar

I was in the south of India last year where the traffic is like nothing I have seen anywhere else. It is a confused free for all. Why there are not more accidents I can’t understand. There is a very different driving culture for sure.

seazen's avatar

Or lack of it.

Luiveton's avatar

Every area has its own driving culture due to the quality or development of that area. It also requires safety awareness from the people themselves, so basically, it is all based on how the inhabitants treat their property and obey the rules.

Tanlander's avatar

India has a system. It’s just not what you expect it to be based on your own experiences. Over there it’s based on sheer numbers. When people outnumber vehicles they dominate the road and can cross busy roads. Otherwise cars rule. Cows trump everything. No one moves a cow out of the way. Not using your horn is very rude – how else do they know you’re coming?
Australia is very different again. Lots of rules so people tail gate alot thinking it’s safe because they know what you’re going to do. Here’s a link on driving in Greece.

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Seelix's avatar

Yup, definitely. In Toronto, it’s every man for himself, including pedestrians and cyclists! In my hometown, things are much more chill and polite, but even there I can see differences in different areas of the city. In the south end, people drive like morons.

I haven’t driven in Rome, but having been a passenger in a taxi I can tell you that Roman drivers are taking their lives in their hands! Narrow, cobblestone streets are bad enough, but the lines dividing lanes don’t seem to mean anything there.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Naples Italy has no rules, any street or road in the area. Boston USA has two opposite direction one-way streets meet.

john65pennington's avatar

While on vacation in Italy, wife and i learned the driving culture of Italians, is entirely different than those in the U.S. we assumed this was because of the many narrow, open roads in Italy. some drivers there believe the open, winding roads, were designed just for them and their fast sports cars. in ten days, we never observed the police stopping someone for a traffic violation. Italy is much more open and laxed in its traffic enforcement.

Coloma's avatar


I traveled in asia last year and the cab rides were terrifying! lol

Gazillions of scooter commuters and everyone just forces their way into whatever space they want to be in, no turn signals, just merge and hope for the best!

All the cab drivers endlessly chew bags of Betel Nut and are wired for action. hahaha

It was quite a ride!

Kraigmo's avatar

It was a pleasure to drive the autobahn in Germany. If you get in the left lane, everyone moves out of your way, or speeds up. Whereas, in America, there’s always some stubborn fool who thinks to himself: ” I’m going fast enough, i’m not moving”.

The collective German mindset on the highway is logical and pleasurable.

The collective American mindset on the highway is illogically selfish and far too insecure.

gene116's avatar

I’m an average NYC driver. A little aggressive in that I’m not dilly dallying (not rude, but I’ve got some place to be) and I generally give myself enough time to get there. I went to Sicily on vacation. I was left aghast. There were no rules except to stay to the left. If they can stop 6 inches from the car in front, they do! I’ve never been shy on the road, but these guys made me pull over and catch my breath.
Sicily 1—- NYC 0.

jerv's avatar

I have to go with @jaytkay here. The driving culture out here is totally different than where I grew up. New Englanders know how to drive in the snow and rain, look for other cars on the road as opposed to assuming that there are no other cars, and regard speed limits outside of school zones and residential neighborhoods to be a minimum.
Seattle goes to pieces in any sort of bad weather, is inattentive as hell, and often go so far under the speed limit that they are actually dangerous to others on the road (especially when they pull into the left lane and force you to slam on the brakes)

Now, that is in the same country, though I guess the US is a bad example since we are rather large geographically and thus more diverse than many nations abroad.

@Kraigmo In New England, things are a bit more European that way. The slow generally stay to the right (unless they are “flatlanders”, a.k.a. “out of staters”) and the stupid get weeded out by mother nature or the laws of physics.

flutherother's avatar

@Tanlander Only in India could you see an entire family travelling by motorbike. The father driving with his schoolgirl daughter perched in front of him while behind him his wife holds on to the motor bike with one hand and her baby with the other. All the while weaving through a sea of rickshaws, buses, lorries and exhaust fumes.

Coloma's avatar


Same in Asia, entire families with kids and mattresses on a scooter.

Taiwan must have the most scooters per- capita in the world, next to Japan maybe. lol

I had a blast renting a scooter and driving around in my chinese farm hat…stupid tourists!
But I navigated through all the alleys, no way was I going out into the city streets, I’d have been roadkill in about 5 minutes. hahaha

mattbrowne's avatar

Of course.

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