Just How Crazy Are the Drivers? 

Everywhere we've visited traffic caught our attention.  We have seen driving that looked remarkably like here in Florida, and then other driving habits that can only be described a insane.  Just for the fun of it, Jackie and I decided to kind's rank driving habits in places we've visited from 1= very normal and comfortable, to 10 = no rules, no courtesy, horns a blazing, crazy as loons, everyone out for themselves. 

Now, we know that no one city or just any portion of a country is necessarily representative of the entire driving community, but this is not intended to be a scientific survey.  We've discussed our findings with other travelers, and while there may be disagreements on the degree of craziness, there was consensus on the general finding. 

We would love to hear your comments and ratings.   Drop us a note.  Please substitute an "@" for the "(at)" in the address.  This is done to prevent computerized span sent to this address:  court64589(at)mypacks.net


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Craziness Range 1 thru 10



Alaska                                1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    On the ALCAN we were advised to drive as fast or as 

                                                    slow as we wished - everyone did.  In Fairbanks watch

                                                    your turns.


Atlanta                               1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Pre and Post Olympic Atlanta were two different worlds -

                                                    better know how to dodge and/or have time to sit 

                                                    for hours now.  75 mph in a 50 mph zone - does 

                                                    anyone care? 


Antarctica                         1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Boats sank and hit icebergs, but no automobile traffic

                                                    to report


Australia                             1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                   Very courteous, seldom heard a horn.  Never saw a near accident.

                                                    Would stop is you were within 15 feet of a crossing zone.


Baltimore                           1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Drove there for 25 years, so it seems normal to me


China                                 1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Never in this world seen anything like traffic in China.  

                                                    While Beijing was the worst, all the larger cities shared the

                                                    insanity.  Cars, bikes, motorcycles, buses and pedestrians 

                                                    all akimbo.  At least it is against the law to run down

                                                    a cyclist.       


District of Columbia        1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Circles and one-way streets, horns blaring, pedestrians

                                                    and bikers seem to have no rules or common sense 


Egypt                                  1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Land of the motorcycle and every type of car 

                                                    imaginable.  Sat and looked down on the longest bridge 

                                                    in Africa - at midnight - 75% of drivers did not use

                                                    head lights.  Enough said? 


Fiji                                        1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Drive in "Fiji time" that is - slowly.  No problem passing for

                                                    either party.  Polite and careful - except for one bad habit -

                                                    driving slowly/sedately until on the drive way or nearing an

                                                    entrance - then speed up ad scare folks waiting.

Galapagos                       1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    On boats or islands most of the time.  Traffic in the 

                                                    couple small towns was inconsequential


Greece                              1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Traffic here appeared to be fairly sane.  Never seemed 

                                                    to get close to running down anyone and everyone 

                                                    seemed to be pretty polite and careful. 


Ireland                               1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    I don't care what they say - they're on the wrong side of 

                                                    the road!  Pretty courteous, love the roundabouts, why 

                                                    such a high toll of traffic fatalities?  Don't even think 

                                                    about finding a place to park 


Jordan                               1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Very calm drivers in the cities, in the desert the roads 

                                                    are wide open.  


Kenya                                1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Simply a free-for-all!  The roads are so bad they 

                                                    defy description.  They use the old "he who blinks their

                                                    bright lights first has right-of-way" method, even when

                                                    passing.  Imagine a highway with modern cars, going

                                                    80+ Kph mixed with over-loaded trucks barely making 

                                                    5 kph, mixed with hand carts, donkey carts, bicycles, 

                                                    motor bikes and pedestrians.  Its a wonder even more 

                                                    aren't killed and maimed. 


London                              1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Again; wrong side of the road.  Crowded streets and 

                                                    no parking space. When walking, and London is a 

                                                    superb place to walk, BE CERTAIN to look to the right

                                                    at intersections.  Drivers don't appear to even 

                                                    see pedestrians 


Peru                                    1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Outside of Lima, drivers seem to be pretty calm 

                                                    and collected.  However, for a thrill, catch a taxi after

                                                    dark in Cusco.  Do watch out for taxis at places

                                                    tourists gather, like town squares, where the taxis gather 

                                                    like locus, yell and invite you to ride with them, and then

                                                    whiz around corners and streets.  Taxi drivers were, 

                                                    all-in-all, very pleasant, hilarious and actually very careful. 


Mazatlan                          1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    OK, I'd drive there, but I'd want eyes in the back of 

                                                    my head.  Lack of turn signals, quick turns and braking

                                                    will keep you on your toes. 


Morocco                           1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Lots of traffic, but it appeared to be organized.  Land of 

                                                    the motorbike - they're everywhere.   While there was some

                                                     "between the lanes" driving, particularly at intersections,

                                                    everyone seems to actually use the same set of driving rules

                                                    and didn't act very crazy.  Do wonder at the intersections

                                                    and how they force turns to be made - very strange. 


New Zealand - South Island  


                                                    More a country driving experience, still courteous, well

                                                    mannered, stop immediately for pedestrian crossings,

                                                    no horn blowing, but a bit fast at times.


New Zealand - North Island



                                                    More like "big city" driving as found in the US or other comparable

                                                    cities.  Rushing from stops at lights, rush to beat lights, horns

                                                    blowing, and lane changing to get ahead.



Rome                                 1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Every vehicle seems to have their own ideas of rules of 

                                                    the road.  Yes, there was some yelling and horn blowing,

                                                    and going from lane-to-lane was a matter of who was

                                                    more macho.  I'm uncertain there were traffic lights, per se,

                                                    but occasionally some drivers would stop for a moment or

                                                    two at intersections - maybe they were tired. 


Russia                                 1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Can make Chinese drivers look sane!  Imagine coming 

                                                    to a stop at a three lane intersection.  Then watch as 

                                                    three motorcycles, and maybe a car or two, make 

                                                    the intersection six or more lanes!  Road full ahead?  

                                                    Then drive on the sidewalk, or the median, or across 

                                                    a park or front yard - who cares?  We had to use 

                                                    the 8 - 10 lane Moscow to Saint Petersburg highway

                                                    to run 1/4 mile south so we could use an underpass

                                                    to go north to our boat.   It took 45 minutes to get 

                                                    opposite the place from which we started.


Scotland                            1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    OK, they drive on the wrong side of the road.  That said,  they 

                                                    are the finest drivers I've encountered outside the US.   There's

                                                    always one or two idiots, but in Scotland, they were rare.   They

                                                    were polite, ALWAYS used their turn signals, were courteous

                                                    and obeyed the rules.  Although I was stopped by the police for 

                                                    making a right turn where none was allowed, I saw only one or two 

                                                    other traffic stops.  I look forward to again driving in Scotland! 



Tanzania                           1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Ditto Kenya - with one very important exception -

                                                    Tanzania has good roads. 


Turkey                                1-----2-----3-----4-----5-----6-----7-----8-----9-----10

                                                    Drivers always in a hurry, horns blasting.  Absolutely no

                                                    regard for pedestrians.  Don't be caught trying to cross

                                                    in the middle of a block or if the signals turns when

                                                    you're 1/2 across the street!