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smart142

Driving in Europe 2018

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This I did for 2 weeks in May. We drove through parts of Holland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Poland, Czech, and Germany.

In all that time we saw one traffic incident, and that looked to be a motorcycle that wiped out on the autobahn.(looked to be a front flat tire)

I've only been home a week and have driven by 4 collisions.

My conclusion is that Canadian(London) drivers are BAD!!!

 

I noticed that I was frustrated and angry with the drivers I was exposed to here - inconsiderate, rude, and dangerous.

In Europe I did not feel this way. They respected the rules and knew how to drive!

Example, when we got slowed down on the autobahn (for the above incident) the traffic parted to the sides of the road leaving the centre open so that emergency vehicles could get to the accident scene. Everyone cooperated! Something I don't see at home!

 

And remember that I drove through numerous small towns that had wickedly narrow roads, large cities that were congested beyond belief, and in Holland where the bikes were everywhere!

 

Besides the bad drivers I noticed that here in London our downtown is in a bad state of decay. Did not see this in Europe to that degree. Makes me feel a little sad.

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AGREED! We talked about this on the weekend. The apparent disrespect in general towards Smarts also doesn't help.

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It's NOT just the London area of Ontario I'll guarrentee you of that!

Toronto and the surrounding areas are just as bad if not worse IMHO.......I also did 2 weeks over there in England and Scotland this April. The difference is staggering isn't it...!  I didn't see anyone texting while driving that I can remember....I'm thinking back hard now just to be sure and can't see any....Hmmm...?  Why is that?   What are their penalties for doing so?  I don't know?
I also don't remember seeing any accidents other than someone's caravan seperating from his volvo at speed while driving down to the Airport to come home. He just didn't have the hitch locked in I bet. But the cars around him simply slowed down, no-one slammed on their brakes and caused secondary issues. They simply avoided the problem and didn't get caught up in it. The trailer did get cut in pieces on the wire centre guardrail system...!

 

I personally think it's because the test they have to pass to get their licences are so strict you need to be a good driver simply to get your licence in the firstplace.  Maybe the costs of driving are so high there also? Insurance rates? The condition of the vehicles themselves seemed to be far better than over here also. The cost to you if you lost your licence must be massive also.....it just seemed to me to be far more important to own a licence compared to here....they took it more seriously maybe..?  Sounds strange yes but it's how it felt.

Then you come to road conditions...Hmmm....I will say it was my first time going back that I noticed their poor state of repair. Their potholes made ours look like slight dents in the road...lol.  You needed to miss them all at all costs as they were DEEP...! Rim busters to say it politely....imho.     BUT, other than the potholes the roads were always better.  Capable of driving at higher speeds on smaller roads without fear of leaving the road.   Again hard to explain.  Maybe the actual surface was coarser so the tires got a better grip?  I don't know?

 

But again, no road rage ....like we get here.......why are we so violent towards each other, is it because we are such bad drivers and we see it....but do not think we are...by doing stupid inconciderate things to each other?
Even the USA imho has far more polite drivers.......for a completely different reason, but they are!  They all realize nobody knows who's packing and IF they will use it, so road rage is kept to a minimum...!  Just for self preservation...lol.

 

So there you go, time to retest everyone and fail us all...force us to drive as we should....?

 

Then you have texting......an outright ban should be done on that......get caught using your phone once and you loose your licence for a year...period!   Bring back speed cameras and enforce them.  Allow them to take pics of you using your phones also.....no warnings after a 3 month blitz to show everyone they are in place and working by sending everyone a picture of you and your car breaking whatever law it is you're  breaking!  Period...!    Simply put this in place and in 3 months there will be far less issues because of the resulting actions of not using your phones while driving and the reduction in speeding.

Send out the warning photos with the corrosponding fines for said offences...easy peasy. No court dates, simply done deal.....Don't lend your car to anyone who you wouldn't take the ticket for them breaking the laws....again simple.

 

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26 minutes ago, TheHandyHobbit said:

AGREED! We talked about this on the weekend. The apparent disrespect in general towards Smarts also doesn't help.

I also noticed this for the first time after owning a Smart Car!  I even ride motorcycles and do not get the same treatment from other drivers on the road while riding!  I feel they think just because we are almost the smallest thing on the road they can bully us to let them in or force us to wait etc etc.   I do not get this when riding at all.  I have ridden all over Canada doing long distance adventures each summer.  It's just since I bought the Smart Car I notice this.  That is why I installed cameras front and read to capture something IF it were to happen to show the ins. company who was at fault. I do not allow people to push me around IF I can stop it safely. I hold my ground which feels worse in the Smart compared to on a bike. Why is that?
I also bought the loudest horn  other than an airhorn I could find to replace the meep meep horn it came with...lol.

I also bought the loudest coloured Smart I could find also, the Lime hi-viz green similar to motorcycle jackets, like I wear on a bike...lol. And I also drive with my headlights on everywhere.  Soon to be installing led spots not just the leds  that Glen installed but BRITE ones...lol

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Italy was my 10 days of driving experience in Europe in 2008 - and despite the fact Italy is not so 'clean', people actually know how to drive. It's entirely different driving in Europe than anywhere in Canada nearly.

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Same: the quality of driving is very high in Europe (a bit less so in Great Britain) and Japan, all areas I've driven well over 100,000 km in over the years.  Around here there is no lane discipline and lots of easily distracted people on the road.  The quality of driver testing is so low, it's amazing.

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I think the fact that most cars are manual is a huge reason for such good driving. When you drive a manual you have to, at the very least, be able to look ahead and plan accordingly so you don't end up round a slow bend in top gear getting into trouble. Much more difficult to be distracted when you have to manage that extra variable. Not to mention that there aren't nearly as many long boring unbroken roads, and even when there are, you almost never get one without lots of other traffic. All those things together make driving much more engaging. I did about 20k km around 13 countries in Western Europe back in 2012 and even trying to manage a warm drink while driving was difficult enough. You just never have 5 seconds where you're not making inputs. Then again I was trying to stick to good backroads as much as possible and hardly ever took the straightest route somewhere.

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Good point! I believe the vast majority of their cars have manual transmissions!

 

Apparently it is also very expensive to get a license, and driving instruction is mandatory!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

In Germany, driving students have to control skids on a skidpad, countersteer and do other things that actually involve skill, in order to pass the driving test.  No wonder self-driving cars are such a big idea in North America.  Too complicated to retrain the masses, let's let Skynet run it all ;)

Edited by MikeT
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 All the driver safety aids available now, are not contributing

to the theory that "Only the strong survive"...:blink:

 

 

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The so-called "driving aids" are taking control away from the basic skills a driver should possess to be allowed to drive.

 

Lane deviation, self driving, self parking, reversing assist for trailer towing vehicles, pedestrian alert, adaptive cruise control are all things that can be replaced by simply paying attention to the job at hand ...... driving !

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