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#SmartStudent: 5 tips on driving safely when you're studying abroad

Our new #SmartStudent series brings you simple tips that help you ease into life as an international student and be a responsible resident of the country you have chosen to study in.
BY Cherryy Chauhan |   16-08-2017
Driving
When you have your car and drive it too (minus the blaring music)?

The rush of getting behind the wheel of your very first car is unforgettable. And when you’re driving in a country abroad, the excitement is at another level. However, while driving a car abroad does allow the privilege of a hassle-free commute, it comes with its own set of rules, which you need to learn and follow.

Here are a few tips on driving etiquette which will not only justify your driving license but also earn you the goodwill of other drivers on the road, when you’re abroad.

  1. Observe speed limits

    Speed limits are used to prescribe the range of allowed maximum speed of vehicles on the road. Commonly, traffic signs on either side of a road will make the speed limit clear.

    However, when speed limits aren’t specified, common sense, and a working knowledge of the rules of the road can be your guide.

    For example, don’t speed in areas like markets, schools, residential colonies. Like we said above, common sense and basic Physics will tell you why.
     
  2. Respect pedestrians and cyclists

    Countries in Europe and North America are much more considerate towards pedestrians and cyclists. Not only are their designated cycling lanes and traffic lights to indicate crossing for pedestrians, drivers are also mindful of their safety.

    If you ignore the rules and/or the safety of pedestrians/cyclists while you’re diving abroad because you think that a four-wheeler has the right of way, or some similar whacked out logic, there can be serious consequences.
     
  3. Understand lanes

    The practice of reserving the use of a single lane for one type of vehicle is known as lane driving. There can be as few as one and as many as 26 lanes for driving in foreign countries. It’ll take you a couple of days to understand lane driving. But, it is crucial to road safety and etiquette.
     
  4. Carry the valid documents

    It’s a no-brainer that you must carry your driving license and other related car documents such as the registration certificate, insurance etc., at all times. In a mishap, not having these important documents can complicate matters greatly. For example, if you need to be rushed to the hospital, or if there are legal issues. Also, make sure they are current.
     
  5. Do not ignore tickets or fines

    The violation of traffic rules results in issuing tickets, and in some cases the confiscation of a driving license as well. You can get a ticket for various offences: from driving below the speed limit, to not signalling before changing a lane. In case you do get ticketed, you must always pay your fines in time.

    Long road trips, sight-seeing, and even daily commuting can be made fun if you have your own car. Follow our tips above and make the most of it!
     

Related Articles:
Straight Talk: Studying in the US is safer than driving a car in India
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A day in the life of an Indian journalism student at the University of Westminster

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