General Question

sjrothenberg's avatar

I have never driven a car in countries outside the USA that use the left side lane and steering wheel on right side of the car. Is it difficult to adjust to the left side of the road and opposite side steering wheel (in Ireland)?

Asked by sjrothenberg (5points) February 12th, 2010

I am looking for people’s experience driving a car in Irleand. I would like to Drive from Dublin to Galway, but I am a little anxious that it may be hard to get used to driving on the left side of the road with the steering wheel is on the right side of the car… especially with all the roundabouts they have.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

njnyjobs's avatar

Your question will most certainly have subjective answers.

Personally, I have driven in Japan where they have right-hand side steering wheels and driving on the left side of the road. The first thing I did was get used to the idea, training your brain to look for similar driving patterns, like staying within the lines, and being cognizant of the environment.

mrentropy's avatar

My ex-wife from Australia had no problems at all adjusting to left-hand drive.

SundayKittens's avatar

This is something I’ve thought about, too. And how do you make the switch when you enter another country who drives on the opposite side? Can you still drive the same car? This may sound dumb,,,but I have no idea!

wundayatta's avatar

No one can really tell you. It depends more on your mind and your flexibility and your willingness to try new things.

It’s a little strange at first, and you might be hyper vigilant. Once you get used to it, it can be fun. With roundabouts, of course, you are going clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. Keep an eye to your left for merging traffic. Look left first, then right.

Just go though all the things we do automatically for left hand drive, and then think what the opposite would be. The mental training will give you a set of rules to use until they become built into you. Visualization, then action.

njnyjobs's avatar

@wundayatta you’re mistaken about looking left then right…. It’s actually Look Right first then Left, because cross traffic from the right will hit you first before those coming from the left. Let’s try not to get our friend here in trouble.

TheJoker's avatar

No, you’ll find it comes much more naturally to drive on the correct side of the road!

Snarp's avatar

I’ve never done it, but I think it would really bother me. I took a bus from London to Edinburgh and every time I looked at the road I got this instinctual fear that we were going to have a head on collision because we were on the wrong side of the road.

partyparty's avatar

I find it extremely easy.
I drive in the left hand side of the road every day.
I live in the UK.
Sorry for my answer…. I just couldn’t resist LOL

Val123's avatar

I was wondering this same thing the other day! Man, I though, as long as I stayed really on top of myself, and thought about it every second I’d be OK….but what about that first time when I forget and just relax and just….drive from habit?! I think it’d be scary.

Are there any stats out there regarding wrecks caused by American’s on the “wrong” side of the road?

wundayatta's avatar

@njnyjobs Yeah, I was thinking about that. I was thinking that when you were in the roundabout, you’d be looking left to see who was coming in. But you’re right. When about to enter, look right, then look left. And if it’s a double laned roundabout, close your eyes and pray!

Val123's avatar

@wundayatta Hell. I’m just figuring out American roundabouts which just popped up here in the last couple of years!

wundayatta's avatar

@Val123 We had a lot of them when I was growing (Eastern Mass), and then they all disappeared. Bow they’ve discovered they are the fastest way of getting traffic around at major intersections, and so they are coming back. Oddly, I think they are safer because people tend to slow down and get extra vigilant when things are so apparently crazy.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I do it alot I learned to drive on left then here in the us I drive on the right- it’s easy but you have to pay attention and in particular when driving through large carparks, those always get me- when I go back it comes right back naturally except sometimes in carparks- oh and opening up the wrong side door jumping in and realising you are in the passenger side embarassing

Harold's avatar

Once you’ve done it you’ll wonder why the US drives on the wrong side!!

Harold's avatar

Why what?

Val123's avatar

@Harold You said, Once you’ve done it you’ll wonder why the US drives on the wrong side!! Why would we wonder that?

Harold's avatar

Because you’d realise that driving on the right side is opposite to logic and anti-intuitive

Harold's avatar

Try it and you’ll see….....

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther