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Who had driven an RHD car?


countrytravler
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Who had driven an RHD car?

Yep.  Every day for decades :)

Have driven in Ireland. They drive differently there

 

Last year was in USA for 3 weeks, Took 2.5 weeks to get used to the steering wheel on the other side. Left a few days later

 

 

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no problem driving a right hand drive car on the right side of the road, but found it very difficult mentally, driving on the left hand side of the road down under............

 

kept feeling like someone was going to run head on into me!

 

did it with a motorcycle, and just as tough.

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Learned to drive on the wrong side of the road, had a RHD MGA (with spare steering wheel for passenger), and many rentals in the UK - as long as there was other traffic never had a problem.

 

Is interesting that RHD and LHD cars have the same pedal arrangement and the London Tube has signs that say "walk right".

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I now spend a considerable part of each year driving on the left. Find that I need to do a mental check most mornings as I head out onto the road. I ask 'Which side are we driving on today, Miss Daisy?' And she patiently reinforces my thinking. In a minute or two it becomes natural. Even when I get home, it takes a little to change back to RHD.

Have had a couple of frights. Worst one was doing a U-turn, tired, looking for a camping spot in the Rockies, and headed back up the lane I had driven down. A fast approaching pick-up truck got the message to me pretty quickly, though!

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In this part of the world we drive right hand drive cars on the left side of the road.  We have very few miles of freeways, the majority of roads are regular two lane..  There are probably several thousand left hand drive cars here, many of which are recent imports of older US models. I bought my first LHD car 40 years ago and still own it.  The only difficulty with driving from the left side of the car is in passing trucks where it is hard to see what is coming.

 

I drove on France for a week last year (a Toyota Yaris six speed manual).  The only problem was remembering to change gear with my right hand. 

Edited by nzcarnerd (see edit history)
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1912 Oakland Touring

1948 MG-TC

1956 Triumph TR-2

1958 Triumph TR-3

1958 Morgan Plus-4

1963? (built from a kit) Lotus Super 7

 

Enjoyed them all, but driving 2-lane country roads in hilly country like the NT state Catskills, and trying to pass a big truck - you were nearly fully in the oncoming lane by the time you could see oncoming traffic - a couple of serious scares !

 

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The biggest difficulty in driving on the other side is the rear vision mirror: it's in the wrong place! Next is the gear lever, you reach with the wrong hand.

 

Worse is European vs Oriental cars. The indicators and lights are on the left stalk in Euro cars, on the right in Oriental. We have one of each. Usually when the windscreen wipers go, we are turning, but other drivers don't get it!

 

My first time driving in the US my brother took me to a large hardware store somewhere near Boston MA, where he lives. I was OK until I entered the car park, when I went to the left. Woops, someone coming on that side, so after a moment of indecision I went to the right. As I went past he said "nice manoeuvre" out of the window!

 

I have also taken a RHD motorhome from UK to Paris. It was easy in a car with the controls on the side I am used to. Much harder when the controls are in the wrong place, as in my brother's Mini.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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Drove an 08 Wrangler that was RHD. Not sure if Fiat still runs the program but you used to be able to get em for rural postal workers. Automatic only though. I also once saw a very scare homemade RHD AMC eagle. By RHD I mean they had a second steering wheel that used a V belt to turn the real steering wheel and had rigged up a second set of pedals too. Never saw it run, just sitting on the side of the road (where it belonged). Poor Eagle

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 A lot of brass era cars still have the shifter/ shift gate on the right side as this and the parking brake is out board on the drivers side. Also a 1930 Rolls Royce shifter still on the right. Driven a number of these early right hand drive autos and never felt uncomfortable in any. But then again I was raised on farm tractors and machinery where there never really is a left or right. McCormick- Deering 10-20's and 15-30's had the clutch on the far right and a hand lever on the left for a brake. Want to really test your skills. Try getting out of a Bucyrus Erie 22B  Power Shovel and hop in a North West 80 D. Dandy Dave!   

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)
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As others have commented, controls in different positions are annoying but you do get used to that, sort of. My experiences, the 2 times I've taken US trips, are that straight forward driving is just that straight forward driving. While on a couple of occasions, on turning left or right, ended up on the wrong side of the road! However my most life threatening vehicle experiences were the 2 days, instead of driving, I chose not to. Both days, as a pedestrian, I looked the wrong way and was almost run over!

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Very experienced here - we lived in Scotland about 7 years total courtesy of the USN.  Our first trip there we drove nothing but British initially, then bought a VW made for USA markets and proceeded to drive a RHD car on the "wrong" side of the road.  We shipped that car back home and there was a big learning curve once we got back.   Our second trip we drove a RHD Mini and had no probs at all.  Our 1935 Morris is RHD and we've driven it extensively both in Scotland and the USA.  Our MGTC of course is RHD and draws a load of attention here.  I think a lot of this has to do with the size of the vehicle.  Our experience is with small cars.   When driving RHD in the UK the car's position on the road seems quite natural.  I do note the increase in "round-a-bouts" we see here in the USA.  Most American's are totally unfamiliar with that concept. 

Terry

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Just sold our little RHD Anglia (last week) that I had been driving for 5 years.  Just pretended I was a mailman, ha !  No trouble ever.  BUT, I do a few things with either hand, so perhaps that's why it didn't bother me.  Some of the folks that have told me they couldn't do it have boats....which the smaller ones usually are....RHD !!

Edited by John Byrd (see edit history)
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I currently have two RHD cars:  A 1949 MG TC (Wildflower) and a 1978 MGB-GT (Rodney).  One of the main concerns people seem to have is shifting with the left hand - it really is not a big deal.  I got used to it very quickly.  I have more trouble with the turn signal lever in the GT, which is on the right.  I keep signaling turns by engaging the windshield wipers!   However, passing, as mentioned in a previous post, can be harrowing.  The right-side position is made worse by the small size of the car.  You can't see over the vehicle in front of you unless it is a go-kart!  I have learned to wait for a clear approach or just let the guy ahead of me set the pace.  I drive both on the Interstate, and get a lot of double-takes and thumbs-up. 

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For an old basketball player shifting with the left hand is easy. It's like dribbling and shooting with the off hand. It only takes minutes to adapt to that which might seem difficult to some not used to it. Thirty years ago and four weeks in a rental car in the UK was mostly no problem, but roundabouts were a new experience then, and I found it unnatural  going counter clockwise. Also making a U turn at an intersection, the same thing, going into the turn on the left and coming out on the right just seemed wrong.

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Spencer, that's a magnificent Hudson!

 

I've driven my 1918 Pierce (RHD of course) 1,800 miles in the USA in the first year of my ownership, and absolutely love it! As mentioned  before, passing a slower vehicle is very difficult if there's no (left) front seat passenger. And with 525 cubic inches, passing other vehicles is not a rare occurrence!  I'd driven several of these cars over the years, so it wasn't  a new experience.

 

Left turns are challenging without a rider who can give a hand signal, but right turn lane changes are delightful compared to my other cars that have limited visibility to the right rear.

 

The gear change and the hand brake (the latter riding tall and proud for frequent use) are on the right.  The only uncomfortable aspect is that the accelerator pedal is between the clutch and brake pedals, necessitating slight side-saddle position.

 

I'm trying to find some turn signals that won't ruin the appearance of the tubular front bumper.

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Hi guys 

living in U.K. And Cyprus , drive RHD everyday.

however , after importing Ruby 53 Buick special last year have similar experience driving LHD whenever I take her out .

Think have bigger problems than Americans driving RHD European cars , as our roads in general our smaller especially in the villages It's pretty scary on the two way single lane roads , my wife cringes every time a lorry approaches . For the first  couple of months ruby used to wander quite a bit and scared me sometimes , until a knowledgeable friend said you can adjust steering , which he did and improved it greatly. Driven ruby quite a few miles now and reasonably confident now , but find it difficult parking and turning right in the small villages, but worth it.

cheers

pilgrim

Edited by Pilgrim65 (see edit history)
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Back in the early 1960s, the MG Car Club - North Jersey Centre used to run regular nighttime rallyes through the NJ Watchung Mountain communities. One particular Thanksgiving? weekend I was driving my 1947 MG-TC (XPAG - #4749) and I believe it was either in Peapack or Gladstone when the local constabulary flagged us over for an inspection. He approached the little MG as he would approach any typical car of the era and requested "License and Registration". I slipped my papers to my friend Johnny who was my navigator (sitting on the left), and he handed the paperwork to the officer who then walked a circle around the car. I kept my foot on the brake pedal since the tail light had just burned out prior to the start of the TSD Rallye. The officer did not detect the inoperable tail light so he handed the papers back to Johnny, apparently not noticing the lack of a steering wheel in front of the Left Seat occupant, but did caution him to drive carefully in "My Town". Of course my navigator just smiles and nodded in agreement. I kept my foot on the brake and remained there until the officer drove off to mess up the "Time" of another Rallye driver. We could not safely make up the time prior to the next checkpoint, but did place "SECOND" in the 1963? FOWL RALLYE.

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On a couple of recent trips to New Zealand I found it very helpful to have an alert front seat passenger when driving in the unfamiliar configuration, I enjoyed the challenge. When I rented a Harley-Davidson for a 3 day 1100 km solo tour full attention was definitely required.

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