Quite often, people will try to gather as much information as possible on how to avoid car trouble when overseas. This will especially apply to people who are planning to visit a foreign country. The trip overseas may be part of a vacation or the person may be planning to relocate permanently. Usually, there is always a lot of excitement in the air. Being in a foreign country, being part of a new culture, meeting new people, as well as a change of environment are some factors that contribute to this. However, quite a number of people find themselves having car issues. Not because they cannot drive or lack the necessary paperwork or documentation, but simply because the driving habits and regulations are different from those in the homeland.
Usually, a person will find himself taking the wrong turns, exhibiting road rage, or causing inconveniences to other road users. To avoid such scenarios it is necessary to consider the tips below:
1. Familiarize Oneself with GPS or Satellite Navigation
One thing that is certain when driving in a new country or region is getting lost. No matter how good we are at cramming directions or memorizing landmark features, we will get lost quite often. This is further worsened by the fact that the road directions may be written in a foreign language that you do not understand. Getting lost may appear ordinary, however, you never know of the security status in the foreign country. You may probably get mugged, injured, or the car stolen. Therefore, to avoid all the inconveniences or risk, it is advisable to fully understand how satellite navigation (SatNav) or Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) works. You should opt for a car that comes with the device whether a rental or a purchase. Alternatively, you may also go for a portable device that can be carried around and used in any vehicle.
2. Understand the Driving Culture
Each region or country will have its unique driving culture. These are habits that are built overtime either from influence or being considered norm. A habit that may be well accepted in one country may be totally prohibited in another. These will range from the normal traffic act to bylaws established by the local council or authority. For instance, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) varies from country to country. This simply means that while drinking 3 pints in your home country may be acceptable, in another country this will be considered as exceeding the drink- drive limits. In addition, driving at low speeds may not be acceptable in some countries especially on superhighways. Researching online or perusing through a rule booklet will shed more light on the Do’s and Don’ts.
3. Understand the Traffic Rules
More often than not, people always have the perception that the traffic rules in their home country are the harshest of them all. They only get shocked to find that the rules in their country were just a drive in the parking lot. What is considered norm in your home country may be banned or illegal overseas. For instance, In Spain it is totally prohibited to use a cellular, mobile, or any other phone inside the motor vehicle. Also, driving in the rain without turning on your car headlights will attract a fine of up to €200 Euros. In Spain, a person who wears glasses or spectacles is required to have two pairs in the car at all times. To avoid car trouble when overseas, it is better to take time and understand the traffic act in the country.
4. Understand Road Signs and Driving Rules
In any country, a driver is guided by road or traffic signs. The signs may be mandatory, warning, or directional. By adhering to the rules and signs, a driver will know when to stop, go, take a turn, overtake, and much more. Although, the message may be standard internationally, the way it is portrayed will be different in various regions. Furthermore, the language and diagrammatic representation may not be very familiar. Misreading a sign will certainly attract hefty fines and also may cause an accident. Besides getting acquainted with the signs and rules in the foreign country, it is recommended to familiarize with the local names of the towns, major streets, highways, or train stations. This will make it easy for you to ask for directions when need be.
5. Learn About the Car
Generally, cars in the world can be driven on the right hand or the left hand. This simply means that a driver sitting on the right side of the car will be driving on the left side of the road and vice versa. A person who has lived in a country where cars are right hand driven will have problems adjusting to a country where cars are left-hand drive. For instance, in the UK cars are driven on the left while in Spain they are driven on the right. A person who lacks knowledge on maneuvering the car on the road will find himself driving on the wrong side, overtaking on the wrong side, and also making erratic moves. Prior to jumping into a car in a foreign land, it is essential to get being the wheel of a car that is driven there and get a feel of it.
Do you need technical advice before driving overseas? Go here to find great tips on how to fix your vehicle.
Normally, people about to relocate or visit a foreign country take the driving overseas issue quite lightly. They will postpone the research until the final days. Unfortunately, this is never enough. At times, it actually requires practicing and also becoming fully conversant with the foreign driving culture or road rules. Failure to strictly adhere to the laid down regulations will normally come with severe consequences. The car may be impounded, hefty fines will be charged, or the driving license may be withdrawn. Poor grasp of the foreign driving rules may also lead to an accident that may not only cause damage, but may also lead to fatalities. Therefore, anyone about to travel oversees should endeavor to get acquainted with the above tips on how to avoid car trouble when overseas.