Erratic driving behaviour

Driving in some Arab countries can be an interesting experience for visitors who are not used to erratic driving behaviour. Do not expect drivers to stick to any rules or speed limits, use an indicator or have any regard for other drivers.

Weavers and tailgaters

One of the most irritating practices is the weaving in and out of lanes without indicating, often just to overtake one or two cars. Be aware that you can be overtaken from the left or the right.

Merging into another lane is done at the last minute, mostly forcing drivers to slow down. Exiting a roundabout from the inner lane is not uncommon either.

Tailgating is a national sport and very dangerous, especially at high speeds. So don’t be surprised look in the rear mirror and see car close to your boot.

Boy racers and skid marks

Boy racers in expensive sports cars can be seen taking part in illegal street races, often in the early morning hours, making sure that the engines wake everybody up.  In more outer city areas leaving skid marks from the tyres on roads is another favourite pastime.

For this reason some inner city roads have speed bumps that are sign posted. So look out for the signs.

Beware of Road Rage

No matter what happens to you, whether a driver cuts you off, tailgates you, etc, try to stay calm  Do not make any rude hand signs or even worse, do not swear at other drivers  A rude gesture can land you in jail in some Arab countries. Unfortunately nobody tells you that when you hire a car.

Don’t expect anybody to stop at a pedestrian crossing

Visitors from abroad will soon notice that standing at a zebra or pedestrian crossing does not mean that drivers will stop to let you cross the road. Sometimes they do and put on the warning lights. This means they are letting you cross. Always make eye contact with the driver so there is no misunderstanding.

Zero tolerance for alcohol

Many Arab countries have a zero limit for intoxication, and the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol can be severe. If you are arrested for drink driving, you can be sent to jail for many days while awaiting a court hearing.

Make sure you know the law if you are involved in an accident 

In some Arab countries the person who causes the accident might have to go to jail until the injured person is out of hospital. If somebody dies through an accident, the person who caused the accident could be liable for compensation for the death. Make sure you know the number of police and emergency services.



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