Wednesday, May 15, 2013

His: Living in America - May 15, 2013

One of the toughest things to get used to in America was driving on the right hand side of the road. It took quite a long time to get used to it and there was a few times where I almost found myself on the wrong side of the road. These days I am quite at home driving on the right side of the road and it will be hard to go back to driving on the left when I visit Australia. This week's topic is the things I love and hate about driving in America so here is my list of things I love and things that I don't like so much about driving in America.

Things I love about driving in the USA
1: 4 Way Stop Signs. These are pretty easy to use and keep traffic flowing pretty well. All 4 sides of the intersections have stop signs and all drivers are required to come to a stop. The vehicles then can proceed one by one, based on when they arrived. I love these intersections as you never have to wait very long to get through the intersection as everyone basically waits their turn.
2: Right turn on red. In many areas in the USA you are allowed to make a right turn at a red light after coming to a complete stop unless there is a sign stating you are not permitted. Being able to turn right on red allows traffic to flow more freely and reduces backups at traffic signals.
3: U-Turn at stop lights. It always seems that the place I am heading to is on the opposite side of a busy road that I am driving on. Thankfully many areas allow drivers to make a U-Turn at a traffic signal which is not the case in Australia. Being able to U-turn at a red light makes life a lot easier.

Things I hate about driving in USA
1: Lack of Roundabouts. Australia is probably home to more roundabouts than anywhere else in the world. In the USA they are few and far between. Roundabouts were great as they kept traffic flowing  smoothly and reduced the amount of traffic signals needed in any given area. There are many places where I live where I would love to see a roundabout but since many people don't use them here often so it would probably not be a good idea.
2: Cloverleaf interchanges. The interstate system is great from getting from place to place. The one aspect of them that I dislike is the cloverleaf interchange as there is a section of the interchange where people merging off as well as onto the highway are using the same piece of road. You need to be very alert whether you are merging or just continuing down the road. Not all interchanges are like this but they are very popular here in Virginia.

There are many other things that I enjoy about driving here as well as drives me nuts but that is for another day. What do you like about driving in the area that you live in and what can't you stand?

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