Driving on the ‘other’ side

Driving on the right

It’s been almost three weeks since we touched down in the land of the free, and home of the brave (can you believe that?). Among other things, we’ve been forcing ourselves to get out and about on the wrong other side of the road. Here are some observations:

  • It takes a surprisingly short amount of time to get used to driving on the other side. By driving I mean mentally positioning your car in the middle of the lane, which means positioning yourself on the slight left of the middle of the lane.
  • It’s really scary to be in the passenger side while the significant other is veering a little to far to the right.
  • The roads are pretty bad around Houston. This is a bad thing for my future GTI :(
  • It’s really weird looking in the rear view mirror on your right!
  • Traffic lights are positioned above the road at power line level, and usually across the road from where you stop, about ten metres away from your eyeballs. Having lived amongst traffic lights which sit immediately to the left (and above) from where you stop for three decades, it has caused us to almost drive through and stop in the middle of the intersection of a few occasions.
  • I think it’ll take some time to stop automatically reaching for my seatbelt over my right shoulder while turning the ignition. 15 years of muscle memory doesn’t disappear too quickly.
  • Turning right on the red light feels very naughty. Turning left on the red (only allowed in certain situations) feels even naughtier.
  • The slightest lapse in concentration may result in a situation where you have to act instinctively, and seeing we have a combined three decades of driving history on the left compared to a combined four weeks on the right, could very well lead to someone getting killed. Best to concentrate for now.
  • No radio = 100% concentration.
  • Driving on the right is kinda fun!