January 2010

Friday, 1 January 2010

What Side Of The Road Are You Driving On?

What Side Of The Road Are You Driving On?

Taking a vacation in a foreign country is one of the most exciting things you and your family will ever experience. When visiting North Cyprus, you will be able to see a land that is steeped in rich tradition and history. It is a land with pristine beaches, beautiful mountains to explore, meadows and vistas teaming with flora and fauna, small villages that are warm and inviting, and historical ruins that are amazing in their complexity.

While visiting North Cyprus offers you a wide range of things to do – from swimming in the ocean waters to hiking up the Five Finger Mountains – there is one thing you will need to adjust to while visiting: driving on the left hand side of the road. If you are visiting North Cyprus from a country that drives on the right hand side of the road you will need to be aware of which side you are driving on at all times. The last thing you want is for you vacation to be ruined due to an accident that could’ve been preventable.
Here is a mantra to keep in your head if you are visiting North Cyprus from a country other than the United Kingdom: ‘Left is right. Right is wrong.’ Sounds a little confusing, doesn’t it? If you keep it in your head, you will ensure that you stay on the proper side of the roadway. When you pick up your vehicle from North Cyprus Car Hire, we will even remind you of this fact before you drive away. Your safety is important to us.
It is, undoubtedly, a disconcerting feeling to drive on what seems to be the wrong side of the road. Not only do you drive in the left hand lane, the vehicle you are driving will have the steering wheel in the wrong place. When you get a car from North Cyprus Car Hire you will notice that the steering wheel is on the right hand side of the car. The gear shift in a manual transmission vehicle will be to your left. Yes, this is even more confusing if you are not used to it. We recommend that you hire an automatic transmission car if you’re not used to this set up.
What else can you do when you are new to driving on the left hand side of the road? Here are some tips the staff at North Cyprus Car Hire have put together to help you get used to things being backwards on the road.

Tip #1: When in North Cyprus, keep to the left
The United Kingdom and North Cyprus are just a few of the countries where driving is done on the left hand side of the road. We cannot stress this enough. The left lane in North Cyprus is your regular driving lane while the right lane is the passing lane when allowed. If you are not quite comfortable driving in the left lane, do not try to pass a slower car or truck ahead of you. Take your time and get used to driving on the opposite side of the road instead.
Tip #2: General driving rules apply in North Cyprus but things come from the opposite directionMost of the standard driving rules that you learned in the country where you learned how to drive apply in North Cyprus. Many of them are common sense. While you may not understand all of the text on the road signs in the country, the pictures that accompany them are self-explanatory. Also, the signs along the road will be to your left along the roadside as that is the side you are driving on. Additionally, keep in mind that when you approach roundabouts and four way stops, the traffic is going to merge from the opposite side.
Tip #3: Keep an eye on your speed at all timesAs if you do not have enough to worry about remembering to stay on the left hand side of the road, it is a good idea to keep to the speed limits when driving in North Cyprus. You are going to be fighting your natural instinct to drive on the right hand side of the road, unless you are from the United Kingdom. By keeping your speed at the speed limit you give yourself the extra time your mind will need to make a decision when needed, especially on roads that are very unfamiliar to you.
Tip #4: It’s okay to follow that crowdYou can get a lot of useful information about driving in North Cyprus by watching the other people that are driving. By paying attention to how other drivers exit parking lots, how they come out of junctions, and how they handle roundabouts you can learn how to negotiate the roads on the opposite side from what you are used to. However, if you should happen to be leaving the airport, try to follow the North Cyprus Car Hire employee that met you or a taxi cab so that you are following someone used to driving in the country.
Tip #5: Take the time to get familiar with your North Cyprus Car Hire vehicle
Remember us mentioning the gear shift in a manual transmission vehicle being to your left in a car where the steering wheel is on the right? This is why it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the vehicle you hire before driving away. The brake and gas pedal will be in the same position – gas on the right, brake on the left – but you need to know where all of the other controls are located. It is better to take the extra time than try to find turn signals and windshield wipers before you hit the road.
Tip #6: Know where the curb is at all times
When you drive in a vehicle that has the steering wheel on the right, the bulk of your car is going to be to your left. You will have problems gauging distances and space. Once again, take your time driving, especially if you drive down any narrow streets, and be careful when you park your car. Additionally, remember that your car bulk is to your left when overtaking other vehicles.

If you can keep these tips in mind when you drive in North Cyprus from a country other than the United Kingdom, you will have no problem at all. And getting used to the new driving situation gives you the chance to take your time and enjoy everything North Cyprus has to offer.

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