I should point out that, while drivers in Japan are polite to a fault (literally), they doctor their accident statistics. If someone dies of their injuries from a car crash but doesn’t die within something like 12 hours, they don’t count it in their car accident death statistics.
I was going to say… Japan, seriously? The driving in Japan is terrible!
The practical test (maybe not every prefecture) involves driving a memorized route around a closed circuit with no other cars on it. New drivers have had literally no experience driving in traffic until they have their license. The roads are narrow, busy, and full of teenagers riding bicycles with no lights, against traffic, while checking their text messages.
I think I could have told you that without a study.
Here’s a freebie – don’t drive in Atlanta either. Buncha rubes in from the sticks and can’t put their damn phones down.
The practical test is like that in every prefecture I’ve heard about. I know someone who failed it for checking her blind spot, because she took her eyes off the road.
Was reading an article on Mental Floss about the top ten tips for Japanese visiting the US. The tip about driving in the US made me think just how bad they must be in Japan.
Manners with cars in America are really damn good. Japanese people should be embarrassed when they look at how good car manners are in America. You must wait whenever you cross an intersection for the traffic light. People don’t get pushy to go first. Except for some people, everyone keeps exactly to the speed limit. America is a car society, but their damn good manners are not limited to cars.
Someone has some strange ideas about US drivers.
I wonder what part of America this Japanese person visited. I certainly haven’t been there!
I thought the “except for some people” part was funny since “some” could be a rather sizable portion.
Once you get off the limited access highways, I think if you did a random sampling of automobile speeds, it wouldn’t be that much above the speed limit, especially if you took the median instead of the mean of the sampled speeds. There are a bunch of boring cars moving around not attracting much attention to themselves.
The average motorway speed in the UK is about 80-85mph (limit is usually 70), and yet apparently it’s quite safe here. The UK does have quite a complicated test, first there’s a written/computerised theory test, then the actual driving test itself is at least half an hour and will include an emergency stop, a reversing manoeuvre or two, and whatever tricky junctions are within range of the test centre.
One thing you can’t learn for your test is motorway driving, as learner drivers aren’t allowed to use motorways, somehow people seem to get by.
Though if you’re in the right area your test can include going on a 70mph dual-carriageway A-road, which is effectively a small motorway except with more junctions.
I have yet to figure out whether I prefer shifting gears with my left or right hand (and therefore steering with the remaining hand while I shift).
Having done both, and as a right handed person, I find shifting with the right hand to be preferable. Shifting requires a bit more precision (especially since you have to land your hand on the knob without looking) and is a better for your dominant hand. Steering is comparatively simple. Southpaws will probably disagree as well.
That said, neither configuration is particularly burdensome. It probably doesn’t matter much outside of a race track. What matters more is the radio/climate controls, which are often tiny and fiddly and require a reasonable amount of dexterity.
I think there’s a correlation with how easy it is to obtain a driving license. Here in Thailand, getting a license is way too easy. Here are the steps:
- colorblind test
- response test
- range-of-vision test
- 30 multiple choice theory test (22=pass)
- driving test in closed course consists only of curb stopping test, 10 meter driving in straight/reverse and parallel parking
Done! Here’s your full driving license! No road test. No learner license. No novice license. A full license that allows you to drive anywhere in the country!
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