Most people are habituated to driving on the “wrong” side of the road. This is one of the main reasons as to why many tourists find it difficult to drive in Dubai. It’s not just driving on the right side; all the controls are on the opposite side as well. We understand that you already have a lot to take in, with all the roads, rules, and unfamiliar driving style. In this article, we hope to help you in your struggle by providing some useful tips to drive on the right-hand side.
Familiarize Yourself with The Car
Familiarizing yourself with your car is the best way to start. Understand where all the switches, buttons, and other functions are placed. Yes, it’s all the same, the only difference being it’s on the opposite side. In doing so, you won’t be confused when you’re already on the road. This also helps in preventing an accident from taking place. Once you have got the hang of where most of it is (if not everything) you are ready to hit the roads.
Use the First Few Days to Practice
Considering you’ve never driven on the right before, it is advisable to start with a few short trips. Keep practicing till you’re familiar. Take a few rounds, probably even more if required, until you are confident enough to hit the city. If possible, you start at the car rental parking lot itself. Another helpful tip is to place your left elbow on the armrest; it helps your brain to assume the driving posture needed while driving on the right.
Driving on Roundabouts
As obvious as it may sound, it really isn’t so evident here. You have to remember that the roundabouts move counterclockwise, so you have to give way to oncoming traffic from the left.
Get Assistance from Your Passenger
If you are lucky enough to have someone on the passenger seat, seeking help from them is wise. No, not to hold the steering wheel, but you could get them to assist you with the road maps, looking out for cars when changing lanes, or changing radio stations. In addition to all this, they can also be used as an extra pair of eyes, who’ll guide you when you are reverse parking.
Watch Out for Pedestrians
This may sound easy and seem like common sense. However, it’s not so common here. Whether you are driving on a highway or internal roads, pedestrians can pop out of nowhere. While driving, try and make a habit of looking to your left and right side, especially when driving in a residential area. It will help to prevent any potential accidents.
Know the Law
Vehicles will always overtake on the left, instead of right. So, beware and keep an eye on the road. Always look at your blind spot before passing the car in front of you. Try staying in the farthest lane on the right, the slow lane so that you won’t be pressurized by the vehicles behind you on the fast lane.
Hopefully, these tips will be useful to you when you drive a rental car in Dubai!