In countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan or Thailand, cars are right- hand drive and drive on the left, that is, the opposite of how most drivers in the rest of the world do it. Although driving does not present great difficulties, it is true that the first few days it can be difficult to get used to this new way of moving with the car and you should pay close attention to the steering wheel to avoid any accident.
Steps to follow:
One of the first pieces of advice we give you at is that if you are going to make a trip to one of these left-hand drive countries, you should rent a car there; that is, do not go with yours and choose to hire one there that will already have the steering wheel on the right and all the facilities as is customary in the country.
Trying to drive on the left with a car that has the steering wheel on the left can be a real headache, so the best thing is that you rent a vehicle there that will already have the facilities in the right place and, therefore, it will be easier to get used to the new layout of the elements.
It is also important that, once you have rented the car, you spend a while looking at how all the elements work: the lights, the gear change, the pedals, etc. Having changed position in the vehicle, it is normal for us to be a little disoriented and confused at first, so it is advisable that before embarking on the road you get to know the vehicle for a while and drive through the parking lot or through an area with little traffic.
Note that the gear lever is in the same place as usual but now you will have to use your left hand to shift; the pedals are in the same order as our cars and elements such as lights or windshield wipers will be in different places depending on the car model. Take a few minutes to test drive and explore the car before you start driving.
Another basic piece of advice we can give you for your left-hand drive days is to always stay on the left. Although it seems basic and logical, driving can sometimes confuse us, especially when we are in an area with a lot of traffic and a little stress. We have automated actions that can make us go against the direction when we join another road or when we want to make a U-turn; therefore, the advice is that you always be on the left. Always keep this idea in mind and you will drive safely.
Many people fear roundabouts when they have to drive on the left and the way to enter and exit them is just the opposite of what we are used to. But we should not fear them since it is very easy to drive around roundabouts because the direction of the road already predisposes you to enter from the side you have to enter and exit from where it belongs.
Roundabouts in these countries are usually well signposted to avoid any type of incident; In addition, the first few days you can follow the car in front of you to avoid making mistakes. But fear not: roundabouts are about as easy as it gets.
What you will have to be very careful about is the incorporations. When you are at an intersection and you have to enter the road, you must remember that traffic is on the left. We are used to joining from the right and this can be very dangerous when you want to enter a road or are doing a Stop. The lane that will be for you is the one that is furthest away, so be careful and always keep in mind the advice that we have given you previously: always to the left.
Overtaking on a highway can also be somewhat tricky since you overtake on the right, something that is totally prohibited in our road safety. Above all, you should be careful on two-way roads and if you intend to overtake, remember that you have to do it on the right and that a car may come; so be extremely cautious at this time.
On the motorway you should remember that the acceleration lane is the one on the right and that “slow” cars go to the left, just the opposite. If you want to overtake on highways, you will always have to do it on the right, in case you do it on the other side you may find yourself with a vehicle that is going slower and you may have the risk of colliding with it.