Friday, June 20, 2008

NZ Driving Oddities

Again, not odd, but there are just some things I have problems getting used to.

Now that Travis and I are driving more often (read: have access to car and live far out of town for another 6 weeks) I have found a few strange things about New Zealand driving habits.

Car driving oddities:
1. No one has daytime running lights. For a place that is overcast and rainy a lot, you'd think you'd naturally turn your "lights on for life." But no one turns their lights on. And lights aren't automatic when you put your car in gear. I think daytime running lights are the best invention ever.

2. Stop signs. People pull out almost into the intersection at a stop sign. Maybe it's not a stop sign - maybe it's a "Give Way", but still. It freaks me out when there's somebody's car hood in my lane and I have to swerve to avoid a collision.

3. Winding curves to get to any beach. Yes, it is a mountainous country. I understand that. It takes over half an hour do drive 20 km due to the windingness. And makes me extremely ill and jumpy, especially when Travis tries to prove to me that a 70km speed limit can be achieved, even when the recommended speed around the corner is 15km/h.

4. Driving lanes are VERY narrow. I'm glad we have a small car.

5. Driveways/lanes are also very narrow, and usually very steep. Also very scary when these lanes back out onto the windy roads to the beach.

6. Slippery when wet. I don't know what they make their roads out of, but when they're wet, they're VERY slippery. I wondered why people slowed down on the roads on rainy days - it's because they have to.

7. Most intersections are on a hill. I'm kind of exaggerating... but kind of not. I have had to learn how to correctly use the e-brake when starting on a hill. Not easy, especially in the rain (read #6).

That's all for now.

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