When we get into our cars, we assume certain responsibilities. The rules of the road are taught to us as teenagers and even before as our young minds observe adults driving. Certain courtesies pertain to whether we are driving a car, truck, motorcycle or scooter. Right-aways and general road rules to most of us are common sense, but it’s a big world with a lot of different interpretations as to what that really means.
Here in the US, we have a mutual understanding as to how to behave on the road, but that doesn’t always mean that everyone abides by the same set of rules. If you think the traffic in your area has gotten out of control, and you’re considering relocating, hold off calling a limo company until you’ve had a chance to check out some of these other outrageous roadways.
1. Toronto, Canada
Just next door. Canada is known for being so civilized yet it is also the parent of a an infamous superhighway that if one is not a confident driver it’s best to avoid. Can you say 401? Jammed everyday with commuters and other more fool hearty travelers, the 401 has sections around Toronto, where the lane count is 18 across. Passing on the right is totally acceptable, and if you catch it at the right time of day it’s mandatory that you have eyes in the back of your head.
2. Beijing, China
No surprises here. In a country which holds the most people on earth it’s a foredrawn conclusion that traffic would be a problem. With laws that are confusing, and over 5 million cars, congestion is an ongoing issue. If you take to the road at some point or another, it’s advisable that you let a native driver take the wheel. Nonetheless, you may still get caught in a traffic stall that could pile up for miles and last for days. Yes, days.
3. Paris, France
One of the most remarkable cities in the world, but when visiting, stick to the subway. Traffic in Paris is not for the faint of heart. The city is known for its roundabouts, but the trouble is they have no lane markers which leaves it up to anyone’s guess. Another issue adding to the congestion is lack of available parking. The roadways get very competitive as drivers peel head on towards accessible parking spots. The sudden stops and glaring red brake lights bring new meaning to the City Of Lights.
4. Mumbai, India
Again an overly populated country with lots of congestion caused by foot traffic, animal rights and old vehicles. To drive the streets of Mumbai one can never let down his guard given the lack of organized traffic rules. The rules may exist, but knowing what they are is anyone’s guess. One rule everyone, native as well as foreigner knows is cows have the right of way. The cow is considered sacred and hitting one is a grave penalty. The word that comes to mind is chaos. The Indians also have a love affair with their car horns, which makes the whole experience even more unnerving.
5. Washington, DC
The beltway that surrounds the District of Columbia is not necessarily void of traffic laws or lane markers. It is regularly patrolled and there are not usually cows slowing things up, but if you happen to find yourself in the rush, take some deep (albeit polluted) breaths and hang on. Keeping up with the steady flow of traffic, cruising at 95 miles is not unusual. If you go slower than the speed of traffic you can cause problems. This writer once found himself next to a Police cruiser going 95MPH and the officer never gave me a second glance.
Where have you driven that raised the hair on the back of your neck or tested your patience? Leave a comment below.