Thursday, March 05, 2009

UK Driving Risky for Foreigners

Driving on the left-hand side of the road presents serious problems for foreigners visiting and living in the UK.

In the Protection Security Operator Course (PSOC), I often cite that one of the top killers of traveling executives -- after medical emergencies -- is motor vehicle accidents (including being hit by a car).

It's incredible how accustomed we are to our own custom of driving in the left-hand side of the car on the right side of the road. Changing to driving on the right side of the car (shifting with your left hand) and on the left side of the road is a constant challenge.

Personally, I enjoy driving in the UK and Ireland, but I will say from experience that old habits are hard to break.

And this is born out by recent statistics from research done by London Councils:

  • Foreign vehicles are 30 per cent likelier to be in a crash than a British-registered vehicle, according to research by London Councils.
  • The number of crashes caused by foreign vehicles increased by 47 per cent between 2002 and 2007.
  • There were almost 400 deaths and serious injuries and 3,000 slight injuries from accidents involving foreign vehicles in 2007.

It's easy to extrapolate similar results for visiting drivers.

Stay alert if you are planning to self-drive on your next trip to the UK or Ireland.

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