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Old July 20th, 2010, 05:39 PM   #1261
PortoNuts
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I read something about the high safety record in Britain being related to driving on the left.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #1262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Actually the fatality rate on the Danish motorvej went down after they increased the speed limit.
I think that has more to do with all the Motorways being refurbished than the fact that we raised the speed limit :P
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Old July 20th, 2010, 07:43 PM   #1263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PortoNuts View Post
I read something about the high safety record in Britain being related to driving on the left.
How is the safety record on Indian highways? I don't think it makes much difference what side a country drives on really.

As for speed limits, I tend to cruise at 90mph or so on a quiet motorway in good conditions, 70-80mph if it is a bit busier and obviously less if conditions are not good.

I guess that more and more motorways will get active traffic management systems like the M42 round Birmingham and they could easily increase the variable speed limits to 80 or 85 in good traffic and weather conditions.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 07:53 PM   #1264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I think most foreigners only base their opinion about British signage on the gantries, which are indeed not the best feature in the United Kingdom. It would help if they would put destinations above each other, not next to each other. France does this as well, but it only works with short names (Metz - Nancy). I also think that the road numbers in plain text (if not combined with brackets) add to the gantry problem. It feels like reading a sentence.
I guess you're right, those horizontal lists with commas don't look good, they also abbreviate city names sometimes, I'm sure I've seen M'cr for Manchester for example.

It's not something I'd ever really noticed or thought about though until it was pointed out in this thread. I don't really look at the names of cities on gantries in general, if I want to go to London for example I know I need M54-M6-M42-M40, I don't look for signs to London.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 07:54 PM   #1265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy55 View Post
I guess that more and more motorways will get active traffic management systems like the M42 round Birmingham and they could easily increase the variable speed limits to 80 or 85 in good traffic and weather conditions.
I'm afraid that's a pipe dream. If ATM (funnily enough called MTM* in NL) will be implemented, it's more likely speed limits will drop during busier hours than they will increase during quiet hours.

* MTM = Motorway Traffic Management in the Netherlands.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 07:58 PM   #1266
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Quote:
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How is the safety record on Indian highways? I don't think it makes much difference what side a country drives on really.
Can't really answer on the Indian motorways but I surely remember reading something about it (an European survey), saying that driving on the left could be the explanation for higher safety records.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 07:59 PM   #1267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I'm afraid that's a pipe dream. If ATM (funnily enough called MTM* in NL) will be implemented, it's more likely speed limits will drop during busier hours than they will increase during quiet hours.

* MTM = Motorway Traffic Management in the Netherlands.
Yeah maybe, although there's no real reason why they shouldn't increase it in quiet periods too.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 08:10 PM   #1268
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PortoNuts View Post
Can't really answer on the Indian motorways but I surely remember reading something about it (an European survey), saying that driving on the left could be the explanation for higher safety records.
It is related to the fact that most people are right-handed and hence right-eyed. Hence your dominant eye is the one that is used to look at on-coming traffic and therefore one has a natural advantage in identifying risks and dangers.

To put it another way, you see better if you drive on the left.
Or so the theory goes.


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Old July 20th, 2010, 08:13 PM   #1269
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Nah, I doubt if it will considerably make some difference. Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark and Spain all got equally low traffic fatality rates and all drive on the right.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 08:33 PM   #1270
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A few years ago, the Conservatives tried to get votes by promising to raise the speed limit to 80.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #1271
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Nah, I doubt if it will considerably make some difference. Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark and Spain all got equally low traffic fatality rates and all drive on the right.
Oh, I did not say it was true!

I've never seen any compelling evidence to prove this theory. I suppose the evidence will always be indirect since it is logistically impossible to run a controlled experiment where we switch driving sides, within the same driving environment, and then measure accident rates.

I cannot imagine there would be many volunteers queuing up to partake in such an experiment, interesting though it may be.


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Last edited by MAG; July 21st, 2010 at 12:03 PM. Reason: expeperiment :-)
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Old July 20th, 2010, 11:06 PM   #1272
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Quote:
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It is related to the fact that most people are right-handed and hence right-eyed. Hence your dominant eye is the one that is used to look at on-coming traffic and therefore one has a natural advantage in identifying risks and dangers..
Exactly! That was the explanation they gave, thanks for reminding me.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 11:23 PM   #1273
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The M5 is pretty scenic, especially as it passes close to Malvern and Worcester.


The M62 has some great views as well.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 06:26 AM   #1274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PortoNuts View Post
Exactly! That was the explanation they gave, thanks for reminding me.
Of course that research also presumes that you're dealing with decent drivers in the first place. Here in Australia, the way many people drive makes me wonder if they have a death wish or something...
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Old July 21st, 2010, 09:12 PM   #1275
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I think any possible truth in that driving on the left is safe, will be very marginal indeed.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 12:55 AM   #1276
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I think any possible truth in that driving on the left is safe, will be very marginal indeed.
It may be significant to some extent but if drivers aren't careful it surely doesn't make any difference,
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 10:50 AM   #1277
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As a child, the explanation I was given as to why we drove on the left was that in mediaeval times a horseman would always pass another horseman on the left so that he could reach for his sword - which was typically on the right hand side - should there be any trouble. The protocol was established and survived when motor vehicles were introduced.

But this doesn't explain why approx 65% of the world's drivers now drive on the right. Maybe they're a more trusting & less suspicious crowd in the US and mainland Europe who feel there is less of a need to defend themselves!
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 03:35 PM   #1278
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Didn't napoleon change most of continental Europe to the right? I'm not sure what the reasoning behind the change was though.

And I think that the US just wanted to be different to britain to demonstrate its independence.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 05:01 PM   #1279
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy55 View Post
Didn't napoleon change most of continental Europe to the right? I'm not sure what the reasoning behind the change was though.

And I think that the US just wanted to be different to britain to demonstrate its independence.
Yes he did. Because he was left handed. It's all to do with swords; your sword would hang on the left if you were right handed so you passed on the left so they wouldn't clang together. As Napoleon was left handed it was the opposite for him and he made everyone change accordingly.

Therefore most of continental Europe then passed on the right and they exported this around the world to all their colonies.

Last edited by havaska; July 22nd, 2010 at 05:02 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 08:10 PM   #1280
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Wikipedia, true to form, has an article on it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-_...t-hand_traffic

If they're right, the change in the US has something to do with the driver of wagons pulled by teams of horses sitting on the left so he could use his right hand for the whip, in which case it made sense to pass oncoming wagons on the left so you could see that your wheels weren't coming into conflict with them.
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