Driving Standards in France

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2012 5:02 PM GMT
    I have just returned from the south of France. I have driven in many countries around the world, including extensively in the US, Europe and the Middle East. The standards of driving in southern France, apart from on the Autoroutes (i.e. freeways, motorways), are probably the worst I have ever experienced. It is a beautiful place and the people are generally very pleasant, but if you ever have to drive there, be prepared.
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    Aug 09, 2012 5:08 PM GMT
    I just returned from 9 days in LA.

    The drivers there are fucking awesome. When the light turns green, they GO.

    Now I'm back in the dust bowl of AZ where the light turns green, and they take their foot off the brake to let the car coast for the first mile or so, then maybe reach the speed limit by the next red light.
  • thadjock

    Posts: 2183

    Aug 09, 2012 5:40 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidI just returned from 9 days in LA.

    The drivers there are fucking awesome. When the light turns green, they GO.

    Now I'm back in the dust bowl of AZ where the light turns green, and they take their foot off the brake to let the car coast for the first mile or so, then maybe reach the speed limit by the next red light.


    yes, we are fucking awesome, becuz we love to drive.

    the problem in AZ is that the median age is the same as the average daily temp: 104

    i grew up with a military dad all over europe and some middle east, but i nominate kosovo circa 2003-4 as worst drivng nation, jsut my personal experience.
  • jayatl56

    Posts: 463

    Aug 09, 2012 6:04 PM GMT
    seems to me that the countries with the lower requirements for getting a license have the worst drivers. Germany has very strict regulations (as does the Czech Republic) and the drivers are generally very courteous and follow the rules. Right lane for passing, period. Lights on in the rain. No fog lights unless there's fog (actually in most of Europe you'll get ticketed for having fog lamps on at night when they're not needed).

    Sometimes I wish the US would get stricter with the licensing requirements and insist that everyone takes a State approved drivers ed class. A lot of mom and dads out there pass their bad habits to their kids and it goes on from there.
  • luckyjock22

    Posts: 41

    Aug 09, 2012 6:13 PM GMT
    It's not only the south of france, france in general, and southern and especially eastern european drivers are fucking scary. They think nothing of getting behind the wheel shitfaced and driving to the next bar or club.
  • jayatl56

    Posts: 463

    Aug 09, 2012 6:19 PM GMT
    luckyjock22 saidIt's not only the south of france, france in general, and southern and especially eastern european drivers are fucking scary. They think nothing of getting behind the wheel shitfaced and driving to the next bar or club.


    not sure where you were but in the Czech Republic it's zero tolerance and it's strictly enforced. If they do, I didn't see it in Prague. Ok, they can be scary sometimes but I blame it on years of driving under performing shit cars. After 1989 Mercedes, Audi and BMW etc came into town with more powerful cars and the Czechs were out there driving without understanding what was under the hood. It's gotten better thankfully but there's the occasional asshole who drives up a one way street or goes through a turning lane or shoulder then cuts in because he doesn't want to wait. That's everywhere. Ever drove in Atlanta?
  • luckyjock22

    Posts: 41

    Aug 09, 2012 6:31 PM GMT
    I was talking about Eastern Europe in general, not every country in eastern europe of course. Russians are scary, especially scary in winter ( nevertheless very good). I use to live in Paris where my french friends always drove around while drunk.
    I've not driven in the U.S, I will have to get around to doing that road trip some time soon.
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    Aug 09, 2012 7:49 PM GMT
    Some driving impressions of places I've lived, obviously generalizations, but what I observed:

    Germany: the absolute best. Highly skilled; know the law and follow it to the letter.

    Northern Mediterranean countries: among the worst. Moderately skilled; what law?

    France in particular: never look and always be rude is the general pattern.

    Washington State, USA: the best in heavy Interstate traffic. They know how to keep the pace up, and avoid the selfish temptation to keep changing lanes to get ahead, a fault that causes chain reaction slow downs so that nobody gets ahead.

    South Florida: the worst in heavy Interstate traffic. Drivers engage in the Florida School of Zig-Zag Driving, which requires a minimum of 10 lane changes for every mile traveled, whether you need to or not. The same volume of traffic that Washington drivers can keep moving at 60 mph will have Florida cars creeping at less than half that. And not using turn signals is a mark of your personal importance & superiority, so as to earn you the awed respect of other drivers. Throw in all the tourists driving unfamiliar rental cars on unfamiliar roads and you have the perfect storm of bad driving.

    New Jersey: the State Legislature won't even let drivers pump their own gas, which oughta tell you enough about them.

    New York
    , and especially from the City: the less said the better.

    Quebec, Canada: the Jekyll and Hydes of the automotive world. Fairly decent while they remain in Canada, a major transformation comes over them in Florida. Call it the Vacation Syndrome. Actually not much worse when driving than the inept natives, their real standout is in parking. Apparently believing they'll never have to pay a US parking ticket once they return home, they violate every law on the books, plus break a few that haven't been written yet. If you see a car parked illegally, or with the meter expired, odds are the tag reads Quebec.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2012 7:56 PM GMT
    Try Vancouver B.C. Canada for the worst drivers.....Human stupidity at it's worst
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    Aug 09, 2012 8:08 PM GMT
    WhyWhySee said
    vanfreak saidTry Vancouver B.C. Canada for the worst drivers.....Human stupidity at it's worst

    There are much worse than Vancouver!

    I never noted anything particularly bad about Vancouver drivers when I went up there. And those that came down to Seattle where I lived drove pretty much like the locals, which I complimented above. Nope, they never impressed me as being poor.
  • luckyjock22

    Posts: 41

    Aug 09, 2012 8:12 PM GMT
    lol, i forgot that the U.S doesn't use roundabouts, we got rid of traffic lights where possible many years ago, waiting at lights drives me nuts, roundabouts are so much easier and faster.
    And yes, down the country most cars are scratched from having to drive into the hedge grow (to let other cars pass on very narrow rural roads).
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    Aug 09, 2012 8:13 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidI just returned from 9 days in LA.

    The drivers there are fucking awesome. When the light turns green, they GO.

    Now I'm back in the dust bowl of AZ where the light turns green, and they take their foot off the brake to let the car coast for the first mile or so, then maybe reach the speed limit by the next red light.


    Going from Chicago drivers to LA drivers is like going from Arizona to LA. We're fucking nuts on the road in Chicago icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 09, 2012 8:37 PM GMT
    vanfreak saidTry Vancouver B.C. Canada for the worst drivers.....Human stupidity at it's worst
    Or try any of the snowbird states during snowbird seasons. That's when they come down here and bring their lack of driving skills with them.
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    Aug 09, 2012 8:49 PM GMT
    vanfreak saidTry Vancouver B.C. Canada for the worst drivers.....Human stupidity at it's worst


    I have driven a lot in Vancouver and never had any problems.
  • jayatl56

    Posts: 463

    Aug 09, 2012 8:56 PM GMT
    luckyjock22 saidlol, i forgot that the U.S doesn't use roundabouts, we got rid of traffic lights where possible many years ago, waiting at lights drives me nuts, roundabouts are so much easier and faster.
    And yes, down the country most cars are scratched from having to drive into the hedge grow (to let other cars pass on very narrow rural roads).


    I love roundabouts and don't understand why they're not in the US. Oh, I've seen them but believe it or not the damn thing had stop signs. WTF? The problem is Americans just don't understand the concept of road rules. Europe is very clear - yield to the right, full stop! You need to watch the road signs too to know if you're on main road or not. In Prague, you never knew when you're leaving a main road until someone comes out from the right without stopping or even looking. They have the right of way and why bother looking? I got use to it very quickly. I like the idea of not having stop signs. You slow down and if nothings coming, keep going. Why have 4-way stops? They're insane but for Americans I guess they're necessary.
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    Aug 09, 2012 8:58 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidI just returned from 9 days in LA.

    The drivers there are fucking awesome. When the light turns green, they GO.

    Now I'm back in the dust bowl of AZ where the light turns green, and they take their foot off the brake to let the car coast for the first mile or so, then maybe reach the speed limit by the next red light.


    I love LA drivers. If you put on your turn signal for a lane change, they make a hole for you.

    If you go to the #1 lane, the passing lane, they expect you to keep up with traffic in front of you.

    Now I live in Seattle, where you can get a speeding ticket going 70 on I-5 and the passing lane is a magnet for fucktards blocking traffic, texting and applying makeup.

    The only thing I can credit Seattle drivers is they don't fall apart while its raining.

    But, if its snowing, stay the fuck home or you'll get killed.

    Can't wait to escape.
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    Aug 09, 2012 9:14 PM GMT
    jayatl56 said
    I love roundabouts and don't understand why they're not in the US. Oh, I've seen them but believe it or not the damn thing had stop signs. WTF? The problem is Americans just don't understand the concept of road rules. Europe is very clear - yield to the right, full stop! You need to watch the road signs too to know if you're on main road or not. In Prague, you never knew when you're leaving a main road until someone comes out from the right without stopping or even looking. They have the right of way and why bother looking? I got use to it very quickly. I like the idea of not having stop signs. You slow down and if nothings coming, keep going. Why have 4-way stops? They're insane but for Americans I guess they're necessary.


    The 4-way stop is an odd concept. It is like some sort of Vegas lottery game, played with cars. My Canadian cousin was in France with me and cursed every time he came to a roundabout. I do not understand the problem with them.
  • luckyjock22

    Posts: 41

    Aug 09, 2012 10:27 PM GMT
    I must be bored because i was just looking up road safety records by country on wikipedia, anyways, compared with France America has twice the number of road fatalities per capita, compared with ireland it has over three times. You guys have nothing to gloat about.
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    Aug 09, 2012 10:38 PM GMT
    French are pussy drivers if you compare italians... go for a drive in Rome!!!
    50% chance of a car crash !

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    Aug 09, 2012 11:00 PM GMT
    I've always thought it was the living application of the old adage "more fun to drive a slow car fast"

    Europeans generally have many more small slow cars and big cars with tiny engines that we do here in the US. Gotta drive them hard to get anywhere.
  • luckyjock22

    Posts: 41

    Aug 09, 2012 11:08 PM GMT
    ATC84 saidI've always thought it was the living application of the old adage "more fun to drive a slow car fast"

    Europeans generally have many more small slow cars and big cars with tiny engines that we do here in the US. Gotta drive them hard to get anywhere.


    cars here are more expensive, and the larger the engine the more the tax and insurance costs (im paying 2000 euro a year in car tax alone), hence we drive smaller cars, american cars are just huge heaps of crap, or at least they use to be, as far as i know more recent models are a bit better.
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    Aug 09, 2012 11:13 PM GMT
    luckyjock22 said
    cars here are more expensive, and the larger the engine the more the tax and insurance costs (im paying 2000 euro a year in car tax alone), hence we drive smaller cars, american cars are just huge heaps of crap, or at least they use to be, as far as i know more recent models are a bit better.


    Which would explain why people might drive fast. When your just cruising along in a big car with plenty of power it doesn't make much effort to drive. Driving a Toyota Yaris with a 1.0 NA engine.... well it had better be manual and it will need to be worked.
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    Aug 09, 2012 11:29 PM GMT
    hot_french_man saidFrench are pussy drivers if you compare italians... go for a drive in Rome!!!
    50% chance of a car crash !



    No thanks. After 27 years of collision-free driving, I'm not going to tempt fate.
  • jayatl56

    Posts: 463

    Aug 09, 2012 11:41 PM GMT
    luckyjock22 saidI must be bored because i was just looking up road safety records by country on wikipedia, anyways, compared with France America has twice the number of road fatalities per capita, compared with ireland it has over three times. You guys have nothing to gloat about.


    I'm not debating this with you. I've been back for 9 months and I'm amazed at how incompetent US drivers are. I'm convinced people emigrate here and swap their license without even a parking test. You hardly ever see a blinker in use even when crossing multiple lanes to exit a highway. Czechs use the blinker on a one way garage ramp. Funny but true.

  • metta

    Posts: 39155

    Aug 09, 2012 11:49 PM GMT
    I have not heard that about the South of France. I will have to ask my friend. He mainly complains about how expensive everything is...including the parking...and that he has to bribe people with extra money to get work done on his properties.

    paulflexes saidI just returned from 9 days in LA.

    The drivers there are fucking awesome. When the light turns green, they GO.



    lol.....I know that when we get Nevada and Arizona drivers in California, they tend to drive like snails.