Boxing Day had us packing for a three day road trip. I love driving in the UK. Despite the fact that I have to constantly sing “Left, left, left” in my head, the driving is fast and polite (my stepfather quickly said otherwise with raised eyebrows).
70 mph is the national speed limit, but most average 80 mph. It’s like a race. Every “dual carriageway” (highway) has its own personality for speed. When the M40 opened earlier than planned, the gas/petrol stations where not open yet. Therefore, drivers put their “pedal to the metal” from Birmingham to London as their bladders and caffeine countdowns commenced. That speed has not changed.
UK drivers flash their headlights to signal that you can proceed and in some cases, it is a sign of “Thanks”. UK drivers let you out if you are stuck and roundabouts keep the traffic moving. Ingenious invention roundabouts and a nice break from stop lights on every corner, which seem to always be red when I get there.
Years ago I took my driving lessons and test in the UK. It was one of the best investments I have ever made. I learnt so much more than when I practiced to drive in North America. (Actually, I never took a lesson back home. I just woke up one morning at the age of 17 and decided that today I would get my driving licence. Drove through a stop sign, picked up the adjudicator and voila!).
The UK lessons were far more in-depth and many skills from those days, I am being swiftly reminded of. Driving in the UK indicates that I have become lazy driving on the big wide roads at home. The return of my “ten to two hands” and driving on narrow roads, avoiding front doors and an early cup of tea with strangers, is a refresher to my driving skills. Sit up straight, pay more attention when behind the wheel and “Left, left, left.”
We will be driving topless on this trip, but it’s not quite what you would expect. Stay tuned.
Do you like roundabouts? Share your comments.
- Brits abroad – negotiating foreign terrain with confidence (portsmouth.co.uk)
- Admiral reveals UK winter driving habits (admiral.com)
- Driving Lesson Costs Vary Across UK (confused.com)