Traffic congestion in the city is bad enough, but driving habits make it worse…at least for us Westerners who don’t quite understand the delicate balance of natural forces involved.
Lane straddling is the norm as it leaves the driver two options to go based on which lane is moving faster.
Unexplained braking and slalom-style lane changes are all part of the experience. Side mirrors are only for decoration, it seems, as overtaking often involves nearly clipping the front fender of the slower vehicle. City intersections are a free-for-all. Pedestrians cross wherever (and whenever) they choose, usually without even looking at oncoming traffic.
In rural Rugao, where there is far less car and truck traffic, driving means sharing beautiful boulevard-style streets with a combination of old farm wagons, bikes, foot traffic, mopeds and even motorcycles all of which could be in the road at any time.
Driving the open freeways is actually quite nice, save for the sudden hard braking that occurs when the driver spots an active traffic camera just waiting to issue a speeding citation.
You wanna scare a teenage driver straight? Put them in a cab in Shanghai.
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