Stay Left, Stay Left, Stay Left
A First Timers Account of Driving In the UK
Stay left, stay left, stay left has become my mantra. Forget .. OMMM!
Beware all ye Brits, inexperienced Yank sighted on your narrow back lanes, navigating your roundabouts, and all the while grinding gears when shifting left handed. Oh, the fun and excitement of a new challenge.Stay left! Stay left! Stay left! Click To Tweet
For those of us that typically drive on the right, it’s easy to let yourself become flummoxed and apprehensive when driving in the UK for the first time. No worries! It’s a piece of cake. Stopping laughing! It really is!
There are only a few things to remember. You’ll be fine.
Shall we get started?
Take out those ignition keys, and lets jump right in. Whaaa…. where’s the steering wheel?
Okay, okay…. going to the left side door to get behind the wheel, only to find it barren is only a slight embarrassment. One that I haven’t had to deal with, except through Jo’s repeated errors going to the inappropriate side.
Can you chew gum and walk at the same time? Or, is that a challenge for you? I found, and continue to find, shifting with my left hand to be an ongoing source of embarrassed frustration.
There is a positive note though. At least the shift pattern is the same as in the States. A nice blessing.
It won’t take long, really, to get used to driving on the left, but staying on the road is challenging. Driving from the right hand seat plays havoc with your sense of perception and it’s common to keep drifting left. Just remember that the driver always stays close to the center line.
Now, throw into the mix narrower roads, sometimes much narrower. As narrow as little more than a cars width. Stay aware! Drive defensively.
You will need to take turns with oncoming traffic in these situations. Take your time and you’ll make it through unscathed.
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