Road Rule Tips for European Bound Drivers
Understand the lines In Germany, a double white line indicates that there is no passing allowed in either direction however in France itís a single solid white line. Know the difference! Passing etiquette Europe is full of narrow winding roads which can make it difficult to overtake. Often slower cars will use their indicators to let you know whether or not it is safe to pass. However this definitely isnít an official rule so always proceed with caution. Life in the slow lane Keep in mind that in countries such as Germany, France and the Netherlands itís illegal to use the slow lane as a passage for passing vehicles. Reverse roundabouts In continental Europe vehicles move counter clockwise through roundabouts, as opposed to the clockwise system weíre used to in the UK. Finding exits can be stressful when adjusting to the new system so itís perfectly OK to do a few loops before safely pulling off. Defensive driving The Greeks and the Italians are famous for their wild driving so it always pays to rustle up your defensive driving skills and be vigilant, even when you have right of way. The Romans will often consider red lights as optional so never assume youíve got a thoroughfare. † Fire up the headlights† Particularly in Northern European countries it is often a legal requirement to drive with headlights on, even during the day. Put down mobile phones† Just like in the UK, driving with a mobile phone in hand is illegal in most European countries. On the off chance that is isnít we strongly advise using a hands-free set anyway. DIY breathalyser In France all cars should be equipped with a DIY breathalyser. Itís a weird and wonderful rule yet one that all drivers must abide by. Low-emissions zones† Europe is becoming increasingly eco-friendly and many cities prohibit entry to cars that donít meet certain emission standards. Always know the rules or you could be slapped with a hefty fine. Avoid big cities Driving in big cities can be stressful to say the least. If you do plan on visiting large metropolises during a European road trip weíd recommend parking on the outskirts, then taking a bus or train in and exploring by foot. † No drive zones† In some major Italian cities cars are banned altogether in pedestrian oriented centres. Look out for signs that read ĎZona Traffico Limitatoí as these indicate no drive zones. †Donít be tempted to try and sneak through them as your number plate will be photographed and youíll incur a fine. † Bon voyage European bound holidaymakers. Drive smart and stay safe!
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