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Old 04-04-2011, 10:07 PM
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,544 posts, read 56,313,856 times
Reputation: 11862


It seems to me this is the rule rather than the exception. Developing countries with lax road rules will naturally have traffic that is a free-for-all. Here in Perth I find it to be the opposite, most people are either half asleep or totally reckless, definitely a lack of capable but responsible drivers.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:17 PM
Location: Dallas TX & AL Gulf Coast
6,848 posts, read 11,845,530 times
Reputation: 33430
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Driving in Mexico has become very sane in recent decades. Care very expensive in Mexico, and really, folks, people don't want to wreck them. People drive slow, according to sub-optimal road conditions. They are courteous and give way. If you break down or have trouble, they stop to help. There are speed humps everywhere, so speeds are very low in all cities and towns. Labor is very cheap, so people who can afford cars can afford the upkeep to keep them in safe running condition. There are pedestrians everywhere, and the penalty is very steep for hitting one. There are, of course, some maniacs, but in general, Mexicans drive their cars no faster than an American would on the same road condition. (Trucks and buses is a different matter, but you can see them coming.)

Most important of all, the people drive ATTENTIVELY. They have to, because there are so many unexpected things that can happen suddenly on Mexican roads. No driver is texting, only pilots do that. In America, no drivers are paying attention to anything related to driving. Why should they, America is so rigid and disciplined, there are no surprises on the road.
Are you serious??? If so, you must have been in another part of Mexico than I was for five months -- long enough to know that this I describe below was considered THE NORM there!

While the major thoroughfares were quite nice and modern and traffic seemed to flow as normal as it does in the U.S. ('though even there, we were "entertained" by a few spectacles... i.e., like one time a guy deciding to just pull over on one of the mountain pullouts and take a leak in front of God and everybody, ha, ha!)... from Toluca to Mexico City to Puebla and in all three... no way in heck would I drive on any of these cities' city streets... it took enough courage just to be driven around! No rules of any kind were followed, be it speed, making U-turns (where three or four would line up side-by-side in the medium to turn onto a 2-lane street... at the same time... hmmm, NOT enough room folks!), parking ANYWHERE they found a place (whole sections of streets blocked at times), drivers just pushing their way into your lanes by turning their left- or right-front fenders (depending on which side they were on from you) directly in front of your vehicle, wrecks passed daily (upside down and all around) with the peeps laying out waiting on ambulances, etc., etc., etc.!

And, courteous to pedestrians... again nadda, I did NOT see this once... you take your own life into your hands when you try to cross a street, because they do NOT slow down one iota! You learn real quick to wait 'til it's all clear, regardless of who has the right-of-way.

And those speed "humps" as you call them are more like mini-hills, some right there on major streets... that the cars actually have to stop at and turn almost sideways to go across to keep the car's underside from dragging on 'em... yet many still do (drag)!

Now, don't get me wrong, I loved the people and the places and the culture, but to call them good drivers, no way in heck, not even in the wildest stretch of the imagination! Maybe mandatory driver's ed would help... that AND mandatory written and driving tests. As it is now, neither is required in the whole country of Mexico... all they have to do is provide proof of residence and pay the fee... and voila', they're licensed drivers!

I'm no slouch when it comes to driving either, having cut my driving teeth on both Houston's and Dallas' traffic and many, many other cities in the U.S. for eons, but this? Be afraid, be very afraid!
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:56 AM
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,391 posts, read 31,047,306 times
Reputation: 16647
I believe Mumbai, India should be on the top of every list
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:39 AM
Location: Victoria TX
42,410 posts, read 87,365,939 times
Reputation: 36646
I rode with a guy one night in Mali, West Africa. He drove on a nearly empty tank, with little bottles of gas in his trunk, and would drive until empty, then pour in another pint or so. He believed that the more gas there is in the tank, the more the car uses. Analagous to putting food on the table for people to eat. He would also throw gas away, if he thought that anyone had put a gris-gris spell on it. The fact that someone owns and drives a car is no guarantee that they have an industrial-world grasp on the physical laws of the universe.

In contrast, in Venezuela, there is a very heavy fine for running out of gas. It is a traffic hazard that simply does not need to be tolerated in a country were gas, even now, costs only about 15c a gallon.
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:13 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,639 posts, read 18,202,474 times
Reputation: 6916
The countries I have been to and spent time in:

United States: First-rate
Spain: Second-rate
Mexico: Second/third-rate
Morocco: Second/third-rate
Costa Rica: Third-rate
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:57 PM
2,802 posts, read 6,454,798 times
Reputation: 3758
The US driver is far from reckless, but skill-wise they're nowhere near first rate.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:22 PM
Location: Los Altos Hills, CA
36,723 posts, read 67,845,058 times
Reputation: 21304
Rome & Cairo really stand out to me as the places with the craziest drivers. Just harrowing.

I spend a lot of time in Sao Paulo and they are extremely crazy too but traffic there is so choked that it doesnt move fast enough for people to showcase their craziness behind the wheel most of the time so I guess that's a good thing. LOL.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:27 PM
Location: Los Altos Hills, CA
36,723 posts, read 67,845,058 times
Reputation: 21304
Not to mention Hanoi, Jakarta and Manila.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:29 PM
Location: Los Altos Hills, CA
36,723 posts, read 67,845,058 times
Reputation: 21304
And how can I forget Moscow!
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:39 PM
Location: Jacksonville/Afghanistan
327 posts, read 646,120 times
Reputation: 281
I get nervous in the taxis in Dubai. They don't care if there is a car in the next lane, they are going to merge anyway.

Bangkok is equally terrifying, especially if you take a motorbike. Though, I find a few glasses of scotch before hand helps calm you down.
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