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How to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road

Road positioning is a key area of the driving test where examiners tend to be rather harsh. This is necessary due to safety reasons and many driving test are failed due to improper road positioning.

Road positioning isn’t just keeping in between the lines, it’s keeping a safe and appropriate road position in relation to circumstances at any given time.

This tutorial explains the key areas where driving tests are failed due to improper road positioning, plus tips to establishing correct road positioning for learner drivers and the driving test.

Driving reference points

As you start learning to drive, it can be difficult to understand where the car is in relation to the road. On a clear road with no obstacles, we ideally want to keep to the centre of the left hand side of the road. Some learner drivers find this easy, whilst other struggle.

If you struggle, it simply takes a little practice and before you know it, you will have the correct road position without giving it a second thought. It’s always good to use reference points to help a learner get started. A driving reference point may help you gain that ideal road position.

How to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road

Road positioning reference points

Whilst driving on a straight road without and obstacles such as parked cars, ask the person sitting next to you to tell you when you have an excellent road position in the centre of your lane.

Then make a mental note of where the left side kerb (or curb as it’s also known) or road line as it comes through the windscreen and onto the car dashboard. If it’s difficult to make a mental note of the reference point, you can use some form of marker such as a small piece of coloured tape for instance.

You may find it beneficial to stop the car once you have found the ideal road position, if so, ensure it is found on a quiet road where you will not impede other road users. These reference points should be used only as a guide for a normal driving position and temporarily until you become confident.

As road widths vary, this reference point should be used as an estimation only if you are struggling to find the correct road position. In general driving, try to remain in the centre of your side of the road. Driving too close to the kerb can result in a tyre puncture as there is often stones and debris close to the kerb. You may also risk hitting the kerb which may lose control of the vehicle, damage wheels and cause a puncture.

Tyres and tarmac rule

The tyres and tarmac rule refers to the stopping distance behind another vehicle when you have come to a stop in traffic. (See stopping distances for further information for braking and stopping distances at various speed limits). The examiner will be checking you do not stop too close to the vehicle in front because if their vehicle roll back, it may collide with the front of your car. Stopping too far behind another vehicle is dangerous as a vehicle behind you is unlikely to be expecting you to stop that far back and will not be prepared to stop.

Stop so that you can see all of the tyres of the vehicle in front and around a metre of road tarmac. This may vary slightly due to the height of the driver, although it provides a an effective guide to go by.

Correct road positioning

Bad or inappropriate road positioning can come in various forms. It all however stems from a lack of forward planning, anticipation and observation. By the time you have reached your driving test, you should be in the position to:

  • forward plan your driving – know the correct procedure and driving routine in good time and well before you have reached a given situation.
  • anticipation – to predict any possible hazards on a turn, roundabout or junction etc. These could be parked cars, cyclists, pedestrians etc.
  • observation – constant observation primarily just in front of you and as far up the road as you can see and also frequently into all mirrors.

If you have mastered these, then it is unlikely you will find yourself in a bad road position. Below are typical driving test mistakes due to bad road positioning that can lead to minors or serious / dangerous test failures.

Road positioning on the driving test

Below provides some typical examples of where road positioning can become an issue during the driving test.

  • Passing parked cars
    A frequent problem on driving tests is learner drivers passing too closely to parked cars. Try to allow 1 metre gap from door to door when passing parked cars in case any open. If this is not possible due to road widths, a reduction in speed is essential. See passing parked cars for further information.
  • Passing cyclists
    Again, passing a cyclist too closely can easily fail a driving test. Allow at least a 1 metre gap if they are not in a cycle lane. Follow a very simple rule when passing cyclists, if you are in doubt if it is safe for you or the cyclist to pass them, hold back behind them until you are confident. See cyclists and cycle lanes for further help.
  • Turning left
    If your car is positioned too close to the left side of the road before making a left turn, it can result in hitting the kerb or even mounting the pavement whilst turning. Ensure you remain in the centre of the road before turning. See left and right turns for help.
  • Turning right
    Making a right turn safely depends on the road position of your car before taking it. A bad road position can result in hitting the kerb as you turn too wide or cutting off the junction corner. Either are likely to result in a test failure. Ensure you position the car correctly (left of centre line) and use the point of turn. See turning right for further information.
  • Junctions
    These include T-junctions, roundabouts and crossroads. Stopping too soon before a junction line reduces your visibility of approaching traffic and stopping too far over the junction line puts you in danger of being hit by another vehicle. See types of junctions for help on this.

Road positioning tips

When passing rows of parked vehicles, remain on a straight and steady course by not weaving in and out of the vehicles. Be prepared to give way to oncoming vehicles however.

Stationary road positioning tips

When stopping and moving in traffic, avoid stopping opposite parked car if there isn’t enough room for other vehicles or buses to pass. Avoid stopping opposite a bus stop if there isn’t enough room for traffic to continue if a bus pulls up.

Guides and tutorials related to road positioning

Below you’ll find some helpful tutorials in keeping an accurate position for your car during the driving test.

How to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road

Operating a right-hand drive vehicle is not a common act for North American motorists. Unless you are one of the few car owners who have imported JDM vehicles, you probably will never need to know how to drive a right-hand drive vehicle here.

If you travel abroad or move overseas, though, you may quickly discover that driving a right-hand drive vehicle isn’t the only thing to consider. It also means that you’ll be driving on the opposite side of the road as North American traffic. That can be just as confusing as operating the car itself.

Here’s how to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road.

Part 1 of 2: Familiarize yourself with the vehicle and controls

Get acquainted with the inverse locations of the vehicle controls while your vehicle is stationary such as in a parking lot. Nothing will feel like it is natural at first and will take repetition to become second nature. If possible, learn the controls on the car you will be driving which can ease some anxiety once you hit the road – on the left side of the road, that is.

Step 1: Open the driver’s door. You’ll likely open the left front door at first, which is the passenger side on right-hand drive vehicles.

Train yourself to approach the right side to get in the driver’s seat. You may find yourself in the left side without a steering wheel many times before it becomes familiar.

Step 2: Discover where signal lights and windshield wipers are. On most right-hand drive vehicles, the turn signal is on the right side of the steering wheel and the wiper is on the left.

Practice repeatedly reaching for the signals. You’ll catch yourself turning on the wipers occasionally and vice versa.

Over the course of time, it will become comfortable though you may still make the mistake once in awhile.

Step 3: Practice shifting gears. This may be the biggest vehicle hurdle to overcome.

If it’s your first time driving a right-hand drive vehicle, try to get an automatic transmission vehicle. It won’t seem natural moving the shifter with your left hand at first. You may even hit your right hand on the door if you reach for the gear shifter absentmindedly. In time, it will become habit.

If you have a standard transmission, the gear pattern is the same as in North America with gears increasing from left to right.

First gear will still be up and to the left but, instead of pulling the shifter with your right hand, you’ll be pushing it with your left hand. Take plenty of time practicing shifting manual transmission before venturing out on the road.

Step 4: Practice driving without starting the engine. The pedals are set out in the same left to right pattern as North American models, which may feel strange with other controls inverse.

Before you start driving on the road, run a few scenarios in the driver’s seat. Imagine making turns while using the controls. Even in your imagination, you’ll find you need to correct which side of the road you are on at times.

Repetition is key to making fewer driving mistakes while you learn.

Part 2 of 2: Get comfortable driving on the left side of the road

At first, it will feel like it is the wrong side of the road until you get used to it. Driving on the left side of the road isn’t all that different but feels awkward.

Step 1: Know where the curb or shoulder is on the left side. You’ll be inclined to stay further left than you should.

Try to keep your vehicle centered in the lane which will feel offset to the right side. Watch your left mirror to gauge your distance from the curb.

Step 2: Be cautious as you get familiar with turning. Making right turns is more challenging in particular.

You may forget that right turns mean you have to cross a lane of traffic first, unlike in North America. Left turns don’t require crossing a lane of traffic, yet you might find yourself waiting for traffic to clear before making a left turn.

Be aware of the traffic coming from both directions to avoid a collision in an intersection until you are adjusted.

Step 3: Learn the traffic laws in the country in which you are driving. Traffic laws vary from country to country.

Learn the correct way to use a multi-lane roundabout if you’re in England. Unlike North America, roundabouts where you drive on the left side operate in a clockwise rotation.

Most people adjust well to driving on the left side of the road. If you find you are having trouble, look up driver’s education courses in your area where you can practice in a safe environment with a teacher. Be sure to have all routine maintenance performed so your vehicle stays in top condition.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Adjust to Driving a Car on the Left Side of the Road.

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How to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road

It’s no secret that many people get nervous at the thought of driving on the opposite side of the road. For most of us, driving is something that we do on ‘autopilot’ without even thinking. Which is why it can be especially jarring to realize your basic driving instincts must be reversed when faced with the opposite side of the road.

As driving on the left side of the road is vastly different from what you’re used to, it’s very easy for issues to arise, especially with the added unfamiliar roads. When visiting countries such as the UK, drivers must not only become accustomed to driving on the left quickly but also, deal with narrow roads, a different road system, and varied traffic laws. Meaning, it’s essential for those looking to drive in the UK to educate themselves on the traffic laws that they must abide by.

We’ve gathered some tips and key points that will help you swiftly adjust to driving on the left side and calm your nerves while doing so.

Familiarize Yourself with the Vehicle

Cars produced to operate on the left-hand side of the road will have a different internal structure. The steering wheel will be on the right side of the car, and handbrake, gearstick, mirrors, and many buttons will all be different from the car that you’re used to driving back home. More so, if you’re renting, the make and model may be different from the car you usually drive – adding another layer of unfamiliarity.

Before you set out, take the time to play around with the pedals and other operations until you feel fully comfortable with the vehicle. When it comes to mirrors, the difference can be especially rattling. Getting used to seeing everything in reverse will be the trickiest task you will face while on the road. When in doubt, take a look out your back window to get a clear view of everything behind you. We recommend you spend a good 20 minutes or so getting used to the vehicle before starting on your travels.

Plan Your Journey

While driving on the left side it’s vital you remain 100% focused at all times, therefore, ensuring you do all possible to minimize distractions and nerves is crucial. Your sense of perception will be off, so when diving in unfamiliar roads you can easily become a hazard to other drivers.

Planning your journey beforehand will remove all stress of knowing where you’re going, and will eliminate the need to read maps, check directions, road names, and more, thereby removing distractions and keeping you focused on the road at all times. Whether you’re on a business trip, or road trip hoping to reach multiple destinations, renting a car with a built-in satnav, or using an online route generator is the most effective way to obtain a pre-planned route.

MyRouteOnline’s UK route mapper, lets you create an optimized route, of up to 350 destinations. Our maps can be used with MyRoute app so you can focus on the road and receive hands-free driving instructions. As we use Google Maps, you can easily keep up to date with real-time traffic conditions and changes, and be readily equipped for any situation you may face.

Stay to the Left

It may seem obvious but the key to successfully adjusting to the change is to repeatedly remind yourself that you are on the left. Drilling this in is a great way to remind you to align to the left, and could help you avoid awful accidents.

This will come in very handy when dealing with certain junctions and driving maneuvers such as overtaking – which takes place on the right. More so, the UK is filled with countless roundabouts – these are fairly safe junctions – as long as drivers follow some simple rules. Traffic always flows in a clockwise direction meaning vehicles on the right have right of way. If you need to do a full lap to scope your exit, that’s fine – just be sure to indicate and stay in lane.

With our route generator, you will receive navigational directions, that will notify you when to expect a roundabout and which exit you need to take. Therefore, you can align yourself accordingly before.

Expect Different Street Addresses

Whichever navigational platform you opt to use, when you input an address the most significant section to include is the postcode. A postal code in the UK typically encompasses one to fifteen addresses – sometimes it can go as high as 100. Meaning, postal codes aren’t usually precise addresses.

Generally speaking, if given only a postal code, Google will place a marker in “approximately” the geographic center of a postal code, but there is no guarantee that it will always be in the same place every time. If you would like your markers in specific locations, then we recommend entering a complete address, rather than just a general postal code. That way you can guarantee you are mapping your route to specific addresses, and not adding any extra time on your journeys.

Final Note

As a whole, forget about driving on ‘autopilot’ and pay attention to what you’re doing at all times. Remove all possible distractions so you can focus on the road and the hardships of the opposite side.

While driving in the UK, make sure to research traffic laws and aim to follow the traffic – other people will remind you to keep left at all time. Most importantly, relax, accustom yourself with the new vehicle and have fun experiencing life on the opposite side.

How to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road

Your vehicle’s side- and rear-view mirrors are designed to give you a good view of the road behind you while minimizing blind spots. Adjusting them properly is very easy, but it’s also key to staying safe on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each year, blind spots factor into about 840,000 side-to-side collisions, helping cause 300 deaths, plus thousands of injuries millions of dollars in damages. Proper mirror adjustment and use can help minimize blind spots and reduce the chances of a blind spot collision.

If you’re driving a car that is not your own, or if you recently let someone else drive your car, it can be very easy to forget to adjust your mirrors before you hit the road. Mirrors can also fall out of adjustment due to vibration or bumps as you drive. However, it’s never a good idea to try to adjust your mirrors while driving , as distracted driving is a major cause of vehicle accidents. Instead, get in the habit of taking a quick glance at all your mirrors before you set off to make sure your rearward visibility is optimized!

Follow the steps below to adjust and use your mirrors properly.

How to Adjust Your Side Mirrors

Here’s how to adjust your left and right side-view mirrors for the best visibility:

  1. Locate your car’s mirror adjustment controls. Most modern cars have an electronic switch that controls the position of your left and right-side mirrors. These switches will have buttons that move your mirrors upward, downward, left, and right. They’ll also have a button that switches control between the left mirror and the right mirror. It’s important to know where this switch is located in any car you drive and how to operate it, so it’s easy to adjust your side mirrors.
  2. Adjust the side-to-side position. Toggle the side mirror adjustment switch to control your left-side mirror. Then, move your head until it’s resting against the lift-side window. Look at your left-side mirror, and adjust it until you can just barely see the edge of your car in the inside of the mirror. Then, toggle the mirror adjustment switch to control your right-side mirror. Move your head to the right, so it’s positioned right above your car’s center console. Now, set the ride-side mirror, so you can just start to see the edge of your car on the inside of the mirror. This positioning will help maximize your view of the road behind you while minimizing your blind spots.
  3. Adjust the up-and-down position. Use the side mirror adjustment switches to set your side-view mirrors vertical position. You should give yourself the best possible view of the road behind, but exact vertical placement often comes down to personal preference. You don’t want to see too much sky or too much road. Instead, it’s best to balance the position of each mirror so you can see traffic clearly as well as curbs while parallel parking.

How to Adjust Your Rear-View Mirror

How to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road

Once your side mirrors are adjusted properly, it’s easy to adjust your rear-view mirror. Be sure to sit normally and use minimal head movements when looking at your rear-view mirror. Then, manually move the mirror until your view is straight out of your car’s rear window, centered, and level. The goal is always to maximize your rearward view.

Depending on your vehicle, your rear-view mirror may also have a manual adjustment tab for night-time driving. These tabs are generally in the center of your mirror, along the bottom. Moving the tab all the way forward or backward will adjust the tilt position of the rear-view mirror. In the daytime position, it will look normal. But, in the night-time position, you will be unable to see much of anything, except headlights. Use this position for driving at night, so other cars’ headlights don’t obscure your vision but be sure to switch back for day-time driving. If your rear-view mirror does not have a manual adjustment tab, it should handle this switch for you automatically.

How to Use Your Mirrors While Driving

Together, your car’s mirrors will give you a good view of the road around and behind your car. It’s best to scan all of your mirrors frequently while driving, using quick glances rather than long, extended stares that can distract you from the road ahead. As you’re driving, glance at each mirror roughly once every 10 seconds, at minimum. This way, you can build up a mental picture of the cars around you on the road.

While mirrors alone will not eliminate your blind spots fully, having them adjusted properly and using them correctly will help you keep track of other cars around you. You should always check your blind spots with a quick turn of the head before changing lanes or making any other lateral movements. But, actively monitoring your mirrors and tracking your fellow motorists can help you avoid surprises and potential accidents.

To learn more about handling blind spots in Texas, California, Florida, or anywhere else in the US, have a look at our certified drivers education courses.

You’re almost enjoying a long drive on a nice, flat interstate. Almost, because it’s windy and you need to saw the steering wheel back and forth, tacking like a sailboat, to stay in your lane. That is, until you make a short rest stop and realize that there’s no wind whatsoever. The kids in the back seat are screaming for Dramamine, and you’re fatigued after only an hour of driving.

There’s no doubt about it–you definitely have some steering issues.

VEHICLE-TO-PAVEMENT INTERFACE
Before you start thinking about expensive repairs, make sure the basic vehicle-to-road interface is okay, meaning the tires. First, check inflation pressures. (Don’t trust the gauge on the quarter-eating pump at the local station–those are often off by as much as 5 pounds. Drop 10 bucks on a good gauge and keep it in your glovebox.) You should check your tire pressures once a month. And that’s first thing in the morning, cold. The correct pressure is on a sticker–check your owner’s manual for its exact location. A low tire on one side will make a car pull in that direction. This is because its rolling diameter will be smaller than that of its mate on the other side. Also, there’ll be more tread-to-pavement drag on the low side, pulling the car in that direction.

If the problem persists, try switching the positions of the right and left tire/wheel assemblies. If the car pulls in the opposite direction after you’ve done this, you’ve found tire trouble.

Check your tires’ tread-wear patterns. For example, if a front tire’s tread tends to disappear along the outboard edge, it’s likely that the camber setting at that corner is too positive, and any pull probably will be toward that side.

How to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road

GEOMETRICAL CONSIDERATIONS
Camber refers to the tilt of the tire from the vertical, and this has a profound effect on directional tendencies. Zero camber means the centerline of the tire is perfectly perpendicular to a level surface. If the top of the tire tilts outward from the body, camber is said to be positive. Going too far in this direction will cause a pull to that side because the tire itself forms the shape of a cone.

Don’t run to the alignment shop just yet. You can get a pretty good idea of camber by using a carpenter’s level, although you’ll need to be parked on a perfectly level space. We used two 35mm film canisters held to the edge of the level with rubber bands. The canisters served as feet that we placed at the top and bottom of the wheel’s rim. Keep in mind that most vehicles will have a degree or two of negative camber.

Here’s where ride height comes in. As springs or torsion bars sag with age, camber changes. Replacing coil springs or adjusting torsion bars can bring alignment back into specs.

WOOF!
Even if the front wheels are perfectly aligned and tires properly inflated, you may still have to steer constantly in one direction or the other to keep the vehicle going straight up the road. The problem is that the rear wheels are also trying to steer the vehicle and overtake the fronts. This condition is commonly referred to as dog tracking.

Technically this occurs when your vehicle’s “thrust line” and centerline are too far apart. On vehicles with solid rear axles, the thrust line is perpendicular to the rear axle. On vehicles with an independent rear suspension (IRS), the thrust line is determined by splitting the toe-in angle of the rear wheels. For example, if the left rear wheel is toed in at 4° and the right is toed at zero, the thrust line is 2° to the left of the centerline.

In an ideal world the two lines coincide. But given a vehicle’s size, manufacturing tolerances, wear and abuse of daily driving, they often do not. If the deviation between the two is great, your vehicle will dog track. Besides having a steering wheel that’s not at center when you’re going straight, another obvious clue to dog tracking is if you see four distinct tracks in the snow or rain when driving straight.

This is just about impossible to correct without professional 4-wheel-alignment equipment. On IRS cars, tapered shims are typically installed under the rear stub axles to reconcile the thrust line and centerline and to restore harmony. With solid rear axles, the repair will require replacing the rear links or straightening the frame.

How to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road

PSSST!: Low tire pressure will cause a wheel to pull.

How to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road

THIS SIDE UP: A quick camber check can be done with a level and two simple spacers.

WANDERLUST
If your car doesn’t have a definite pull to one side, but instead a sloppy, undisciplined tendency to wander all over the place, the first thing to think about is wear in the steering and suspension.

Direct observation is the best way to find this, but you’ll need a helper. With the car sitting with all wheels solidly on the pavement, have him or her unlock the steering column, then rock the wheel vigorously back and forth while you stick your head underneath and inspect with a light. (Needless to say, do this with the engine off.)

With a parallelogram steering system–the kind with a Pitman arm coming out of the steering box–you may see the idler or Pitman arm moving up and down. Or you may notice slop in the tie-rod ends or perhaps more rotational action going into the steering box than coming out. With rack-and-pinion steering, pay special attention to the inner tie-rod ends, and make sure the rack housing itself is firmly mounted.

Another way to inspect is to slightly raise one tire off the ground (place the jack under the lower control arm, then have your assistant rock that tire side to side, then top to bottom, while you take a look).

STEERING BAG?
With the recirculating-ball steering boxes typically found on big domestic rwd cars, pickups and SUVs, lash will gradually develop between the worm and sector gears. You can eliminate this problem by doing an “over-center adjustment.” You’ll find an adjusting bolt or screw sticking out of the top of the steering box. With the wheels as close to the straight-ahead position as you can get them, loosen the locknut, then turn the screw clockwise to reduce lash. Do not overdo this or you can reduce interior tolerances too much, causing damage. You’ll know you’ve gone too far if the steering wheel stays where you put it instead of returning to a straight-ahead position under normal road forces, especially when coming out of a turn.

Lash may exist in the joints that allow the steering column to transmit the helmsman’s commands to the gearbox. The universal variety typically lasts forever, but the rubberized textile type, fondly known as a “rag joint,” often deteriorates to the point at which there’s excessive play.

Deteriorated upper control arm bushings can cause serious steering problems, and probably a lot of clunking to boot. Look down on them while your helper holds the brakes and shifts from Drive to Reverse and back. You’ll see and hear excessive movement.

How to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road

Is there anything more frustrating than having your car pull to one side while you’re driving? It’s hard to focus on safe driving when you’re constantly tugging your wheel left or right just so you can keep a straight line.

The worst part is you have no idea what’s causing it, or how to fix it. Luckily, we can help with that.

One of the Most Common Causes of Pulling is Wheel Alignment

The most common reason a car pulls to one side is that the wheel alignment is off. Whether it skews to the side over time, or you hit a particular vicious pothole, wheel alignment will be altered by driving conditions, and it should be checked regularly.

Wheel alignment is exactly what it sounds like: your wheels and axles make a rectangle, parallel to each other and at a right angle to the road. A technician will line up your wheels and axles with each other to make this rectangle, and make adjustments to the suspension angles to impact the wheel position.

Your mechanic will make the proper adjustments for your car using manufacturer specifications and proper alignment technology and tools.

Fun Fact: Roads Are Never Built Completely Level

Almost all roads are built with a slight slope to the side where the drainage is located. This is another factor that could cause your car to pull to one side. Many automotive professionals will account for this slope in their alignment calculations.

When Should I Get My Wheels Aligned?

We recommend getting a wheel alignment every time you switch your tires for the appropriate driving season.

My Wheel Alignment Has Been Checked – What Else Could Be the Problem?

If you’ve had your wheels aligned recently, there are a few more culprits we can investigate.

1. The Air Pressure in Your Tires Is Inconsistent

Sometimes the solution is as simple as adding some air. Tire pressure fluctuates as you drive, and sometimes one tire will have less pressure than the others. If you find your car pulling to one side, the first thing you should do is check your tire pressure and add more if necessary.

If this fixes your problem, fantastic! If you notice your car still veering to the left or right, the problem might be a bigger one.

2. You’re Experiencing Tire Conicity

Tire conicity refers to a problem in a tire when it’s made. Sometimes during manufacturing, one of the components becomes misaligned and causes the tire tread rubber to harden in a slight cone shape, rather than the proper cylinder shape. That causes your car to pull to whatever side the defective tire is on. This kind of conicity is apparent right away in new tires, and is covered under warranties.

If you begin to notice a pull after several thousand kilometres have been put on your tires, this is most likely due to uneven wear caused by driving conditions (like rough winter roads) or a suspension issue. Bring your car into us, and we’ll be able to more accurately diagnose the problem.

3. There’s a Worn Out Part in the Steering or Suspension

If it’s not your tires, it may be your steering or suspension causing your car to pull to one side. Worn out components will impact how your car drives.

This is Also Called a Memory Steer

Memory steer is an industry term for a car that pulls in the direction you just turned. For example, if you turned left down a street, suddenly your car starts pulling to the left. This is caused by tie rods, strut bearings, ball joints and other components in your suspension and steering.

4. Your Brakes Are Wearing Unevenly

If your car is pulling while you brake, that’s where we’ll check first. An example of a brake-caused pulling problem is stuck calipers, usually making grinding noises. Calipers are what apply the pressure to your brake pads, and if one is stuck part way back, your brakes will wear unevenly.

Brakes are especially important in slippery winter and spring conditions, so if you notice anything odd about your brakes, make an appointment with us right away.

I’ve Heard About Something Called Torque Steer – What Is That?

It sounds like something race cars would have, which is kind of true. Torque steer mostly impacts front-wheel-drive cars (which are high-performance vehicles), and refers to your car pulling to one side during acceleration.

This is most often caused by the transversely mounted engine. The setup in front-wheel-drive cars causes engine power to be sent to one tire more than the other, which causes the pull.

Unless you own a high-powered front wheel drive car and drive in more professional capacity, or are an avid car enthusiast, this is something you don’t have to worry about with your car.

If Your Car Is Pulling to One Side, Bring It to Us

We want your car to be in tip top shape. If you find yourself heading left or right, head right to us. We’ll diagnose and fix the problem, getting you back on the road in a car that will go the direction you want.

How to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road

A steering wheel pulling to one side is a problem that forces you to maintain constant pressure on the steering wheel to maintain control of your vehicle. Your vehicle may feel like it has a mind of it’s own.

Steady pull

When the vehicle continually pulls or drifts to one side when traveling straight. The driver must maintain steady pressure on the wheel to keep the vehicle on the road.

Tire pull

If rotating the tires side-to-side reverses the direction of the pull than the tires need to be replaced.

Possible causes include:

Uneven camber side-to-side:

Too much cross-camber can cause a vehicle to pull to one side.

  • Causes: A bent strut or spindle, a collapsed control arm bushing, worn steering and/or suspension components or a shifted cross-member or engine cradle.
  • Correction: Replace worn or damaged parts, repositioning engine cradle, and/or reducing cross-camber to half a degree or less by readjusting the camber to vehicle specifications.

Uneven caster side-to-side:

Too much cross-caster can make a vehicle pull to the side that has the least (negative) caster.

  • Causes: Bent strut or spindle, worn our steering and/or suspension components.
  • Correction: Replace damaged parts and/or reducing cross-caster to half a degree or less by resetting caster to vehicle specifications.

Rear axle steer:

The front wheels are aligned to vehicle specifications but the vehicle pulls to one side.

  • Causes: Directional tire pull (shifted belt in tire), a possible bent rear axle and/or rear axle misalignment.
  • Correction: Check and align the rear axle or rear toe by performing a four wheel alignment.

Brake drag:

  • Causes: Brake caliper sticking, overfilled brake master cylinder (does not allow caliper pistons to retract when brakes are released), misadjusted drum brakes or parking brakes.
  • Correction: Readjust or repair brakes as required.

Low tire pressure:

The vehicle will pull towards the side with low tire pressure. Correct by inflating tires to recommended pressure.

Mismatched tires side-to-side:

The vehicle will pull towards the side that offers the greatest rolling resistance. Compare tire sizes, tread styles and brands.

The right-hand driving style was introduced by Great Britain which later was copied and used by most of the other countries. Since there are a majority of the cases for right-hand drive, you should always be familiar with the left-hand drive style as well. Thus, the need for rhd to lhd conversion holds great importance. There are many countries where it is mandatory to convert rhd to lhd due to the strict and specific road rules.

The Process To Convert A Car From Right To A Left-Hand Drive

The entire process to convert right-hand drive to left-hand drive is not a simple process and thus should be done under the supervision of the expert. Any minor mistake while the rhd to lhd conversion can result in some issues with not only the car but also for the people driving in the car.

The following are the car’s components that are processed for the process to convert rhd to lhd :

  1. Repositioning of the steering wheel
  2. Repositioning of the dashboard
  3. Exchange of rack and pinion
  4. Replacement of shift knob
  5. Angle adjustment and repositioning of the side mirror

Though the above steps may appear easy and simple, the overall process of rhd to lhd conversion is way more difficult and complicated. Here are the following steps to convert right-hand drive to left-hand drive . Have a look:

1. Repositioning Of The Steering Wheel

Dismantle the entire steering wheel along with the portion beneath the steering wheel. The main need is to reposition the steering wheel to the other side of the car. Take good care while repositioning the steering wheel and the associated components of the steering wheel as many internal features like the braking system, the steering system, and car’s engine have to be modified with that.

How to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road

Result of converting from rhd to lhd. Source: Peugeot

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Don’t try doing it by yourself, if you don’t have any idea about it or have less knowledge. Trust the knowledge and experience of a professional to convert rhd to lhd so as to avoid any mistake or future problems.

2. Steering Rack Replacement

The next step is to replace the assembly of the steering rack. While doing so, there can be a bit of effect on the airbags so special care and attention should be taken while replacing the steering rack to avoid any damages to the airbags.

3. Pedal Assembly Repositioning

Once you are done with the replacement of the steering rack, the next step to proceed with for the rhd to lhd conversion is the repositioning of the pedal assembly. If you have a manually-driven car, you need to dismantle and remove the three pedal’s mounts. Following this, you need to reinstall them on to the other side that is towards the left-hand side.

How to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road

Pedals are completely transferred. Source: Youtube

4. Repositioning The Brake Master Cylinder

As brake master cylinder is one of the most important components in the car, you need to apply special care while repositioning it to the other side to successfully convert right-hand drive to left-hand drive . Properly realign the brake master cylinder on the left-hand side of your car.

It is advised to allow a mechanic or a car expert to do this as even a minor mistake in this step can be extremely dangerous for your safety. If the brake master cylinder is not aligned properly, you won’t be able to apply the brakes properly after the rhd to lhd conversion which can eventually be dangerous while driving.

5. Reposition The Firewall Accessories

The firewall accessories include:

  • AC ducts
  • Blower motor
  • Cables and wires, etc.

As all these firewall accessories are in between the passenger compartments and the engine bay, you may have to remove the engine for accessing these and removing these accessories to convert rhd to lhd . If you have knowledge about your car, you can also do it. But it would be more preferable if any expert can do this, as it will then be done with extra care and focus without the risk of any faults or failures.

6. Adjusting The Doors And Wiper Mechanism

The last step in the rhd to lhd conversion is to adjust the doors and the wiper mechanism. If the door controls in your car are in the middle section, then there is no such need to change it or reinstall it anywhere. The need is when the door controls are with the doors on the right-hand side.

How to adjust to driving a car on the left side of the road

Adjust the doors and the wiper mechanism. Source: Markus Spiske / www.temporausch.com

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Convert right-hand drive to left-hand drive with these steps and enjoy your left-hand drive as much as you did the right-hand drive. Just be careful with all the conversions and have a happy and safe driving.

If you’re traveling to the United States for the first time, there are certain customs that might take some adjustment. Some examples include the weather, the food, people’s attitudes, and driving laws.

Chances are, the rules of the road in the U.S. will be slightly different than those that you’re used to. The guide below will outline the different laws that are common across the country.

NOTE: Keep in mind that certain traffic laws can also differ from state to state. Before traveling, check up on the driving and safety laws for the state that you’ll be in.

General Driving Rules in the U.S.

Below are a set of driving rules that apply to every state in the United States. Take your time while driving to allow yourself to adjust to the differences.

  • Vehicles drive on the right side of the road.
    • This might feel odd, especially at intersections and turn lanes if you’re used to driving on the left side of the road.
    • Do not try to pass behind cars turning across from you.
    • Do NOT cross into lanes separated by lines that are solid yellow.
    • If the yellow line is broken, cross/pass with caution, but be highly aware of oncoming traffic.
    • If you see someone crossing the street, you must come to a full stop for them.
    • Double check all of your mirrors and blind spots before making lane changes.
    • In some states, bicyclists are required to ride in the street; while some cities have designated bike lines, others do not. Be aware of your surroundings.
    • If you use the horn excessively, people could get upset at you and try to retaliate.

    For Your Safety

    Some of these safety laws might seem obvious, but are important to follow because they could save your life.

    • Always wear your seatbelt.
      • If you have children, make sure that they’re buckled in correctly before you begin to drive.
      • Children under a certain age or weight may be required to sit in a child safety seat or booster seat. We’ve compiled lists of the safety law requirements in all states, so you can choose the ones you’ll be driving in to see what the regulations are.
      • It is illegal in all states to drive while legally intoxicated.
      • In many states, texting and driving is illegal. Some prohibit the use of handheld devices for any reason, including for phone calls or navigation. Check out our guide to safety laws in your states of travel for details.
      • Even if it seems like there’s no one around you, always signal before you turn or make lane changes.

      If you’re ever in an accident or feel that you’re in immediate danger, dial 911 for medical and police services from anywhere in the United States.

      U.S. Road Signs & Traffic Lights

      When traveling to the U.S., you’ll probably encounter a few road signs that you don’t recognize, and there may also be some laws around traffic lights you’re not familiar with.

      Before getting on the road, review the list below to better understand the rules around United States road signs and stop lights.

      • Traffic lights in the U.S. will generally have red, yellow, and green lights that indicate when you’re supposed to stop and go through intersections:
        • Green means go.
        • Yellow means slow down and prepare to stop.
        • Red means stop.
        • Make sure that you check for oncoming traffic from all directions before turning.
        • You aren’t required to come to a complete stop at yield signs, but you should slow down—and if traffic is approaching, you may need to stop anyway.
        • These signs are usually accompanied by flashing lights and bells that will warn of an oncoming train.
        • If you encounter a railroad crossing without lights or sounds, you should come to a complete stop and check the train tracks for any oncoming locomotives.
        • Some areas may only allow people with permits to park on the street, or might prohibit street parking altogether—pay attention to everything written on the signs!

        U.S. Traffic Tickets & Violations

        If you’re given a traffic ticket for violating driving laws, you’ll most likely have to pay a fine in compensation. This can get complicated, since you might only be staying in the U.S. for a few days.

        Should you incur a fine, try to pay it off as soon as possible. You can usually do this by mail or online, depending on the state’s ticket policies.

        While using a rental car, the company you rented from will most likely be charged and may pass the expenses on to you.

        If you’re caught driving under the influence, your punishment could be more severe. The consequences will vary, based on:

        • Individual state laws around DUIs.
        • If anyone was hurt or killed.
        • Whether it’s your first DUI offense.
        • Your blood alcohol content at the time of offense.
        • The recklessness of your driving.

        The penalties for DUIs include:

        • Large fines.
        • Alcohol education/treatment programs.
        • Driver’s license suspension or revocation.
        • Jail time.

        For more information, choose your state(s) of travel within the following guides we’ve put together for your travel needs: