I have spent quite a bit of time overseas in the last few years and there is one thing that I have had the hardest time getting accustomed too. That is most of the entire world other than the United States uses International street signs. If you are not accustomed to them they will cause you many issues and possibly cause you to be involved in an accident. I have talked to a lot of officials in the different areas I have traveled and they all say the same thing. Most accidents, that they respond to, are caused by tourist driving and not understanding the local street signs.
I thought I would take this time to show you some of the most common ones that you need to be aware of as to try and avoid being involved in an accident and hurting you or someone else in the process.
Another thing that is very common abroad are round-a bout’s. The United States is starting to deploy them more and more as time goes by. They appear to allow for better traffic flow in congested areas more efficiently than traffic lights. These are actually very simple to understand but so many people seem to struggle with them. The only rule to remember is that traffic already in the round-a-bout has the right of way. This means traffic entering must yield. There are a few places that this is not the case but the majority of the time It is.
Most foreign countries also require travelers that want to drive to have an International Driver’s Permit. It can be easily obtained and is only valid as long as your regular driver’s license is valid. You can apply for one online and only takes a couple days to receive it.
One final thing I want to point out to both Americans traveling abroad and foreigners coming to the United States, is that the United States is the only country in the world still using the Decimal system and has not moved to the Metric system. This means that speed limit signs in the United States are in Mile per hour and speed limits signs everywhere else are in Kilometers per hour. Remember this or you could find yourself getting a speeding ticket ruining the experience of traveling.
In closing, if you plan to drive internationally outside the United States, I would strongly recommend that you learn to read the traffic signs for the country you are traveling. This could mean the difference between life and death for you and for others on the road with you.