Saturday, August 11, 2007

Driving Rules

When we went to get our Swiss driver's licenses, I found it crazy that we were not required to take a test, or even be given a list of local driving rules. We simply showed our US licenses (and some other paperwork) and that was that. I figured, ok, well it seems like there's not really any big differences in driving rules. You have to get used to the roundabouts, and two-way streets are separated by white lines here instead of yellow, but other than that driving's been pretty easy.

Well, after being here nearly 6 months, we're just now finding out a pretty important rules regarding right-of-way on these European roads.

Ok, so in the US if you're driving straight ahead on a Road A, and the another road (Road B) comes up to meet it from the right side, normally the person on Road B has to wait for the way to be clear before turning into Road A, right? Makes sense. Especially if Road A is a slightly bigger/busier road than Road B.

Yeah, not the case here. Here, you yield to the right. Apparently, almost always. So Road B would have had the right-of-way, and anyone driving on Road A would have had to stop to let the other person in. We almost got into an accident in Dijon because of this, and only later realized that we would've been the ones at fault.

This is a slightly terrifying thought, knowing of all the times I've been driving along, passing some little road to my right, not even stopping to think that someone might be coming along expecting me to stop for them. It also makes me just not want to drive.


  1. I never understood the yield to the right thing. But I did understand that if you are in the round about first, then you don't have to yield..

    It is complicated but European drivers on a whole are much better drivers, be it faster, in general.

  2. I KNOW IT IS GREAT ! We did the same when we were living in LUCERNE as AMericans 4 years ago)



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