Tips for Driving on the Left Side of the Road

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Driving on the left side of the road can be a daunting prospect for those accustomed to driving on the right. Whether you’re a tourist exploring a new country or a relocated expat adjusting to local driving norms, mastering this switch is essential for safe and stress-free travel. Understanding the nuances of driving on the left side of the road can make all the difference in navigating unfamiliar territories confidently. In this article, we’ll explore valuable tips to help you adapt to left-side driving smoothly, ensuring a seamless transition and enhanced road safety.

Stay Left

The golden rule of left-side driving is to always stay on the left side of the road. This might seem obvious, but it’s crucial to ingrain this habit, especially during turns and intersections. Consistently positioning your vehicle on the left side helps maintain traffic flow and minimizes the risk of collisions with oncoming vehicles.

Practice Defensive Driving

Adopting a defensive driving mindset is crucial when driving in any environment, but it’s especially important when adjusting to left-side driving. Stay alert, anticipate the actions of other drivers, and be prepared to react swiftly to unexpected situations. Maintain a safe following distance and avoid aggressive maneuvers that could compromise your safety or the safety of others. This can be a difficult thing to master for most drivers. That is why we recommend taking driving classes at a reputable driving school such as ABC Driving School, as they will teach you the vital driving approaches you should implement in your daily routine.

Use Roundabouts with Caution

Roundabouts can be intimidating for drivers transitioning to left-side driving. Approach them cautiously, yielding to traffic already in the roundabout. Remember to go clockwise around the circle, giving way to vehicles entering from your right. Indicate your exit clearly to notify other drivers of your intentions.

Mirror and Signal

Proper use of mirrors and signals is vital for safe driving, regardless of which side of the road you’re on. However, when driving on the left, it’s essential to pay extra attention to your blind spots, as they’ll be on your opposite side. You don’t want to visit an automobile technician unexpectedly. Always signal early when changing lanes or making turns, giving other drivers ample time to react.

Stay Mindful of Road Signs and Markings

Familiarize yourself with road signs and markings specific to left-side driving. Pay close attention to directional arrows, lane markings, and traffic signals, as they may differ from what you’re accustomed to. Take your time to understand these nuances, especially when navigating complex road systems or unfamiliar terrain.

Stay Relaxed and Focused

Adjusting to left-side driving can be mentally taxing, particularly in the initial stages. Stress is one of the factors that can affect the likelihood of an accident occurring on the road. Stay calm, focused, and patient, allowing yourself time to adapt to the new driving environment. Avoid distractions, such as mobile phones or loud music, which can impair your concentration and reaction times.

Seek Local Knowledge

If you’re driving in a foreign country with left-side traffic, take advantage of local resources and knowledge. Research driving laws and customs beforehand, and don’t hesitate to ask locals or rental car staff for advice. They can provide valuable insights into navigating local roads safely and efficiently.

Take Refresher Courses

If you’re feeling apprehensive about left-side driving or want to hone your skills further, consider taking refresher courses or driving lessons. Many driving schools offer specialized training for drivers transitioning to left-side traffic, providing practical tips and guidance to boost confidence behind the wheel.

Stay Vigilant at Night

Driving on the left side of the road can pose additional challenges at night, especially for drivers accustomed to right-side traffic. Be extra vigilant when navigating poorly lit roads or unfamiliar surroundings. Use your headlights effectively, and keep an eye out for pedestrians, cyclists, and wildlife, which may be harder to spot in the dark.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Like any new skill, mastering left-side driving requires practice. Take every opportunity to get behind the wheel and familiarize yourself with the nuances of driving on the left. Over time, you’ll become more comfortable and confident, allowing you to enjoy the journey without the stress of navigating unfamiliar roads.


In conclusion, adapting to left-side driving may seem daunting at first, but with patience, practice, and a proactive approach to road safety, you can navigate foreign roads with ease and confidence. By following these tips and staying mindful of local traffic laws and customs, you’ll embark on a safer, more enjoyable driving experience wherever your travels take you.

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