American vs Italian Drivers

How does driving in Italy compare to driving in America? Well let’s look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of both. We are looking at American drivers being any nationality but a person who drives mostly in America and Italian drivers as being Italian citizens living in Italy and mostly driving there. Driving is a set of rules or laws but it is mostly customs that come about in an area. These customs can be confusing to others or down right scary.

American Drivers – In America the law of do not drive in the far left lane (reserved for passing only) has been abandoned. Many people don’t even know that it is illegal to drive in the left lane in most states. We speed and many municipalities set speed limits low to account for fast drivers. We are not friendly at all. If we see a driver pulling into our lane we speed up to block them. We do obey red lights for the most part. Some people believe two cars can pass on red and still be legal. Stop signs have become yield and yield means go as fast as you can and hope for the best.

Italian Drivers – In Italy all laws are basically just a suggestion! Italian drivers drive very very fast except when they don’t and then they drive really slow. Lanes are just a suggestion. A three lane road can easily become a 5 lane one. I was once told by a limo driver that a green light means Vai Vai (go go), a yellow (amber for us oldies) doesn’t exist and a red light is just a suggestion. Italians abide as if declared by the pope, the rule of left lanes are for passing and very high-speed drivers. You are expected to move to the right if someone is coming up behind you (unless you are in far right lane). Most Italians drivers abide by this rule. They are friendlier than we are on the road. If on a one lane road each way, someone wants to pass and moves into oncoming traffic, each driver moves to far right of their lanes creating a new lane for the driver passing. In America this driver and the other two would be dead!

So who wins as best driver? I have to say the Italians because they are more friendly to their fellow drivers. Both Americans and Italians are fast drivers and can drive in crazy ways. I have been driving in Italy both in the north and the south for a very long time now. I tend to drive like an American when in America and like an Italian when I am in Italy. It works for me. Let’s not even talk about parking in each country…



Categories: Driving in Italy, General Travel, Italy | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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