05 September 2006

Driving in Greece

Beware Greeks bearing down on you behind the wheel.

Thanks to Kathy Tzilivilakis's brilliant piece in the Athens News, I drive happier and safer now that I know for sure I have nothing to prove and only my life lose.

Everyone whose attention I've drawn to the piece has cackled with laughter and then blanched with knowing nods of its truth. Bravo Ms Tzilivilakis

First off, anyone thinking of driving abroad, check out this
excellent site

By way of background, studies show that Greece has the highest per capita road fatality toll: About four times the lowest fatality rate in the European Union, according to researchers who conducted a cross-country analysis of social norms and traffic safety in the EU.

The United Kingdom, Sweden and the Netherlands are the safest countries with fatality rates of 5.77, 6.26 and 6.53 (per 100,000 inhabitants) respectively.

Greeks are not only bad drivers, but they have perfected the art of bad driving to the point of no return

I thought it was just me, but KT nails it bang to rights with her Survival tips:

  • Never take a green light for granted. Always look left and right before proceeding
  • Always remember that Greeks see the yellow light not as a signal to slow down, but as a warning to put the pedal to the metal and get through the intersection before the light turns red.
  • When in a one-way street, keep to the right to allow for cars coming from the other direction
  • Never stop for a pedestrian because you could cause a multi-car pileup
  • Try not to use directional signals because Greek drivers are not used to them and it may cause confusion
  • Speed limits are arbitrary

    And I thought turning in or out of that Safeway complex was tuff driving ....

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