Sunday, April 05, 2009

DRIVING: Sharing roads with animals; passing; driving on the left, and courtesies

Cows in the road, near Galway, Ireland

Roads are excellent between main towns - many motorways, but most are 2 to 2 1/2 lanes.

Animals are leisurely in the road. Sheep and cattle, some goats. Markings of red or blue are for ownership. They do not move. We saw none hit. Drivers take the necessary care.

Mantra for driving on the left: Center line to the right elbow. Center line to the right elbow.
Roads: see driving in Ireland at
Watch your left hubcaps. Easy to hit curbs. See also rules of the road at
  • Passing on one lane roads: Watch for the tall flag that means a lay-by. When you see a car coming, the car nearest the lay-by backs up, or pulls over and waits.
  • Passing on three lane or two lane roads:
Car behind will tailgate. This is not necessarily rude. Tailgating usually signals a desire to pass. The slower car pulls to the side, over halfway on the berm and keeps driving while the faster car whips out and partway over the middle line and passes, then whips back. Passing is done fast with little leeway.

The passing car should not have to go entirely into the oncoming traffic lane at all, as we always do.
  • Traffic circles. The one in the circle has the right-of-way, so never barge in.
Learn the international traffic signs. Your guidebook should have a page on that. They are not necessarily intuitive.

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