Friday, June 24, 2011

Driving on the Left Can Cause Dyslexia

We have arrived in York and tomorrow we turn in the rental car.  This marks the end of driving on the left for two months.  It has worked out fine, but I won't miss it at all.

If you have seen some of the pictures on this blog for the past two months in Ireland and Scotland, then you will appreciate the need for the smallest feasible car.  Country roads can be narrow!  The smallest available rental cars in Europe generally have manual transmissions.  Shifting gears with the left hand requires some attention.  It worked okay.  Only once did I open the driver's side door when trying to shift gears!

It is also counterintuitive to glance to the left to check the rear view mirror.  The pedals and the dashboard controls are the same.

Driving in heavy traffic is easier, because you can always follow the car just ahead of you, and look at where cars are entering from and exiting toward.

Turning is the tricky part, especially if there are no other vehicles around.  You probably won't hit anything, but it does become easier to end up on the right side of the road for a while.  One rental car had a little sign saying KEEP LEFT that reflected from the dashboard up onto the windshield.

Most roundabouts had large white arrows on blue backgrounds that pointed the correct direction to go when entering.

But I still think of turns across oncoming traffic as being left turns, although they are to the right in Ireland and Britain.  When we get to Holland on Tuesday, I can start undoing the dyslexia...

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